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Harris shares "delight" over Bialkowski deal

The manager gives his insight on The Lions' new goalkeeper...

30 July 2019

Neil Harris has talked of his delight in securing the loan signing of Bartosz Bialkowski.

The 32-year-old becomes the manager's eighth signing of the summer ahead of Saturday's opening to the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season.

"We're delighted to finally be able to get Bart into the building," Harris told millwallfc.co.uk.

"It's been drawn out, not least for the boy himself who thought he was coming four or five weeks ago, but we've chased Bart all summer.

"What was never waived was that Bart Bialkowski was a prime target for us over the course of the summer.

"It's an initial loan, so he'll be here for this season, and we can look at him and he can look at us as with any loan. Our successful record with loans over the years speaks for itself. Bart comes in to play for us, to play Championship football, and Bart pretty much completes our squad for the forthcoming season barring anything unexpected."

Harris goes into depth about the benefits Millwall can reap of Bialkowski's experience at second-tier level, and says he relishes the goalkeeping selection 'headache' brought upon him with fellow experienced 'keeper Frank Fielding.

"His record at this level is great. Obviously, last year he played in a very difficult Ipswich side and had some ups and downs, which doesn't change his professionalism and his desire to do well. To be Player of the Year at a big club like Ipswich three years in a row shows what a talented lad he is.

"Bart has a lot of experience at this level, and ticks the boxes pedigree-wise. When you get character references on a player from managers like Mick McCarthy, you listen and take note. We're delighted now to have two hugely experienced Championship goalkeepers and great lads in the building with Bart and Frank Fielding, and they will thrive off the competition.

"Frank has been great in pre-season, and Bart comes in with the pedigree and determination to play. It's a great position to be in for me as a manager, and there are some real tough decisions to be made ahead of Saturday. We'll see where Bart is at fitness-wise, but what we have is a squad who all are used to playing games and want to play - they're fiercely competitive."

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