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Harris analyses Huddersfield point

Lions manager gives his take on 1-1 draw in West Yorkshire

28 September 2019

Neil Harris describes Millwall's 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town as a "fair reflection" of proceedings at the John Smith's Stadium.

Fraizer Campbell gave Danny Cowley's side the lead 24 minutes in, before Matt Smith levelled late in the first half.

Shane Ferguson's dismissal with 10 minutes remaining saw The Lions stand firm defensively, before both sides were forced to take a share of the spoils.

"I think the result was a fair reflection of the game," Harris says.

"In the first half we were good, and were undone by a sucker-punch where it was disappointing to give the goal away. I thought we were threatening and were dangerous all over the pitch in the first half, and their goalkeeper made a couple of top saves - the best of which came from Jed's shot which the referee gave a goal-kick for, and they scored from the restart. We have to do better from the restart, but that's one the referee got wrong.

"To go behind then come back with the character we did was very good and Smithy has deserved to score an opportunist goal. I'm pleased for Smithy who in my opinion should have scored earlier in the game and had chances."

The manager claims his side tailed off slightly after the interval, and explains what is needed to improve in possession.

"In the second half, we never really lived up to the same levels. I praised the boys at half-time for how well they kept it and moved, and were controlled behind the ball, but we didn't do that as well after the break.

"That was the killer again much in the way of in recent games - when we keep and move the ball really well, we look like a really good Championship side, but we struggle when we give it away cheaply. The message there is clear to the players that we need to be better with the ball.

"Away from ourselves, I thought Huddersfield pressed the ball better in the second half, but we need to raise our standards when that happens to ultimately be able to test the goalkeeper. At the same time, I don't remember Bart having to make a save in the second half either."

Harris gives his assessment on several of his players, including Ferguson, as well as Ryan Leonard - who was restored to the starting XI for his 50th Millwall appearance.

"I will praise my players for the way they performed not just in the first half, but also in the last 10 minutes when Fergie gets sent off for two fouls he has to make for the team to defend against the pace. Fergie was excellent before the sending-off too, and gives you so much with the ball. We lose him for Wednesday night at Luton, but they were honest, selfless fouls from a professional point of view. The boys stood strong after that, and for that I praise them.

"I thought Lenny was excellent too. We needed his legs when we didn't have the ball, and I thought he was very good too with the ball. A lot of the players I thought had a point to prove to me, and I felt the need to pick a team with a bit more experience coming here."

The boss finally pays respect to Cowley's Terriers outfit, and looks to remain on a positive front ahead of a huge week for the club on the pitch.

"I fully understand it's a game we've not won, but I think it's important to give some credit to Huddersfield. They might have been bottom of the League before today's proceedings, but they have got some quality players and they will get better.

"So I'll take the positives out of today - I don't want to be critical of the players, because we've come away from home and if we'd kept up the same levels in the second half, we'd have won the game." 

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