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Harris reflects on Swansea defeat

Manager speaks after slender reverse in South Wales

9 February 2019

Neil Harris has praised Millwall's display on Saturday afternoon following a slender defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

George Byers' deflected strike proved to be the winner in a tight game for Graham Potter's Swans in South Wales, and Harris says what cost The Lions a share of the spoils was a lack of productivity whilst in promising positions on the field.

"On the whole, we're pleased with the performance," the manager says.

"It's frustrating that the goal we conceded was via a ricochet into the top corner. For all the possession they had and the way they played 15-20 passes from box to box, I thought we defended our penalty area really well.

"We caused them problems ourselves - I'd like to have caused a few more problems when we got into in the final third, we put some great balls into the box and didn't really attack them."

The boss touches particularly on Jake Cooper's stoppage-time effort from close range which was diverted wide of the mark, but commends the way his side dealt with Swansea's possession play.

"I thought it was a game where on the whole, we were good at dealing with Swansea's brilliant movement and passing patterns. I spoke all week about keeping our shape and discipline.

"We thought if we could stay in the game, there could be a counter-attack for us to get us up the park, and get us a goal like we scored at Middlesbrough.

"We did have the chance at the death from Jake Cooper, who has been unbelievable in the penalty area this year with goals and assists. It was a free header for Hutch [Shaun Hutchinson], who perhaps could have hit the target himself, but on another day that flies into the net off Coops. That maybe sums us up again, that the ricochet for them ends up in the back of the net, and ours wide of the target."

Harris insists it is vital that his team are able to swiftly adapt to changes in style of play, with the manager altering his formation with the introduction of Steve Morison in the second half.

"Swansea are a very good footballing team, but I thought we more than held our own for the majority of the game. We were certainly more aggressive in our approach to getting after the ball in the second half, and I thought we worked really well to get into their final third.

"We looked a little bit predictable when we did get into the final third at times, however. I think today showed how much we're missing Tom Elliott - we brought Steve Morison on and we won a lot of first contacts, but didn't get onto enough second balls.

"We've alternated recently with our style of play, and we have to make sure that when we switch things up and have other options, we can adapt."

With Tom Elliott travelling with the squad to the Liberty, Harris gives an update on the striker's condition and maintains that he has been a significant miss to the squad.

"We brought Tom along with us today - there was no training session at Calmont Road, so he travelled with us and is outside working physically, and he's also great to have around the place with his personality.

"He's progressing really well, and we'd obviously like him back as soon as possible. We do have to be careful because it's a temperamental injury he's got, so every day it's important that we work towards getting him fit."

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