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Harris: "We dug in and competed with them"

Manager reflects on momentous victory over Everton

26 January 2019

Neil Harris has lauded the performance of his team after producing a sensational last-minute winner to overcome Everton in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round.

Murray Wallace's 94th-minute strike sealed Millwall's passage into Monday's Fifth Round draw, after Jake Cooper and Lee Gregory had twice equalised for The Lions.

The manager says his team combated the threat of Marco Silva's side excellently.

"We dug in, stayed in the game and competed with them, and we got the shape spot on for the majority of the game," Harris states.

"We knew Everton were going to have the ball - they're a team with top class players - and we knew that they'd be able to get from their penalty area to ours. It's about whether we could delay them and cover areas, and make things difficult for them.

"We knew we'd have to defend well 1v1 at times, but also use the ball wisely and create chances. We had to be clinical, and fortunately for us we did enough to keep them down to two goals and have the anticipation in the final third."

The boss explains the importance of playing to the team's strengths throughout the tie, with set-piece deliveries a huge attribute for his side.

"There's competition with the full-backs. Murray has all the ability in the six-yard box to be a lethal striker, and we've seen that several times this season. We had to play to our strengths, and put the ball into the box whenever we had the opportunities.

"We work hard on set-pieces. Everyone knows how in-depth we work as managers, coaches, analysts... and for us as a club, at the level we play at, set-plays are important.

"We've got some real quality in the group, and when you play against teams who are maybe quicker and stronger, we thought set-plays could be an avenue for us."

Harris finally commends the dedication of his squad and the contribution of the supporters at The Den, and is looking to capitalise on the confidence boost ahead of next weekend's contest with Rotherham United.

"I know how my players are, and I know what they think of myself, my staff and each other. They're an honest bunch with a lot of character and desire. What I thought was special was the atmosphere in the stadium, the fans coming to get behind the team. Twice we went behind, and the fans got behind the players to give a performance to be proud of.

"We carry that unison into Rotherham next week, which is a much bigger game than today."


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