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Harris: "Blackburn were more clinical"

The manager gives his assessment of the defeat at Ewood Park

14 September 2019

Neil Harris has given an analytical take on Millwall's 2-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon, claiming Rovers were the more clinical team and that plenty could have been done better by his side.

Derrick Williams and Bradley Dack netted either side of the interval to secure the three points for Tony Mowbray's side, with the Lions boss frustrated by numerous elements of the contest.

"First of all, we were disappointed to be losing at half-time - I don't think it was a fair reflection of the first half," Harris says.

"We played some really good football early on - we overloaded areas, got people around the ball and moved it a bit quicker. We got from box to box really well in the first half, but ultimately Blackburn played a back five today and it was difficult to create many clear-cut chances.

"The goal was of course a great strike from 20 yards by a centre-half, but there were little things in the lead-up to the goal that we certainly could have done better with. We came out in the second half and got caught chasing a little bit, and we didn't do the jobs that were asked of the players for the second goal - we were undisciplined in that phase of play. We didn't do enough in the second half to create those clear-cut chances again, it was hustle-bustle towards the end with balls into the box. I can't however fault the bravery of the players in an away game at Blackburn - today it just didn't go our way."

Harris continues to analyse each half, and explains a team selection which saw Jayson Molumby and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson earn their first League starts for the club.

"We never really put on continued pressure in the second half and didn't use the ball well enough. At times we didn't anticipate second balls enough.

"I picked a young team today with a lot of legs in it, although might not have had quite enough Millwall knowhow. I look at myself and the team selection and understand that some players are in good form, some have done well in individual performances. In the first half it showed that we played some really good football and we had legs to press the ball. The second half wasn't quite right, and the players have to take responsbility as well.

"Overall, it was no real fault of the players that we were beaten by probably a more clinical team."

The manager claims Bodvarsson's strengths could have been played to more efficiently by his teammates, and praises the contribution of youngster Molumby.

"The positives were that Jayson Molumby has come in for his first League start and did well in periods, and I wanted to play Jayson and Jon Dadi on the back of fine displays at Oxford as well as fantastic international weeks.

"Did we service Jon Dadi enough for what he's good at? Probably not. We brought Smithy on to potentially open up more space for Jon, and we got into some good areas around the corner of the box.

"I just thought that when we grew into areas around the box with shooting and finishing opportunities, we weren't clinical or confident enough because we didn't score. It was a bit too scruffy for my liking, and there wasn't enough conviction at times in our shots. We have to be getting into those areas."

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