BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Adam Barrett has dedicated Millwall’s 2-1 win over Leeds United to Neil Harris – and revealed how the Lions legend called him on Thursday night asking him to take caretaker charge.
Harris resigned on Thursday evening and first-team coach Barrett described it as “a total shock”.
Jed Wallace’s penalty and Tom Bradshaw’s goal put the Lions 2-0 up with Gaetano Berardi dismissed in the first period.
“Neil rang me on Thursday evening,” said Barrett. “I was watching my boy playing football for his school and he said: ‘Are you sitting down?’ I said: ‘I can’t – I’m in a field’. He said: ‘I’ve decided to resign and David is going – I’d like you to take the game Saturday. I think you’re ready and the board want you to take the team Saturday’.
“I’m employed by the football club and the gaffer insisted. I was more than happy to step up today and honour his request.
“It hit me like a tonne of bricks. No [he didn’t have an inkling] – total shock. It hit me sideways.”
Harris came in to Millwall’s training ground on Friday to say his farewells.
“Neil and David came in – there were tears,” said Barrett. “He met the players and he has known a lot a long time. It was a difficult morning and hard to refocus and prepare for the game.
“It has been a whirlwind 24-48 hours. I wanted to put on a performance for Neil and David, and so did the lads. They have been instrumental to this club and really turned it around, put an infrastructure in place. I’m just proud we got a performance for Neil and David. They brought me to the football club, the gaffer did – he gave me my opportunity when I stopped playing and I’ll be forever thankful for that.”