Millwall boss fine with dressing room inquest after Brentford derby loss

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Millwall players had a frank exchange of opinions in the dressing room after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

Second half goals from Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins saw the Lions emerge with nothing from the derby. They head to second-placed Norwich City on Saturday have taken two points from a possible 24.

Millwall manager Neil Harris said: “After the game there were some people who spoke really well, some passionate words.

“We’ve never worked with a blame culture within my dressing room and we never will do. We work on the basis we want to be better. 

“If someone has got something to say, they say it. As long as they say it, it is discussed and then forgotten. It’s how I like work and how I worked as a player and now as a manager.

“After a disappointing result and ultimately a disappointing performance with the ball, people were not afraid to speak their minds.

“That’s a football dressing room. That’s a dressing room that has passion in it and wants to win games.

“There is no question that results haven’t been good enough on the road. We want to be better and expect to be better.

“We’re trying to find the best way forward. If my players want to exchange words but then sit down and have Sunday lunch together then I’ve got no problem with that.”

Harris felt his side failed to use their periods of possession well enough.

“You have to find those moments of composure and make the right decision in the heat of the battle,” he said. “Brentford were excellent. They got the mix right. 

“Yes, they are good footballers. But they also got it right when to put the ball behind us, when to put it in the box and get after us. They pressed the ball very well.

“When our chance did come along we were not clinical enough to get our noses in front in the first half. In that period there was nothing in the game whatsoever, Brentford had a lot more of the ball but we had the best chances.

“The goals came from us giving the ball away cheaply. Our ball retention up front was abysmal.”

Norwich have won their last four Championship games.

“They probably epitomise the league,” said Harris. “Six weeks ago they were struggling and on Saturday night they found themselves top of the league.

“It just shows what a bit of consistency can do. We certainly found that in the second half of last season, and Norwich are finding that now.

“It’s about as tough a challenge as we can have. Everyone will write us off and we’ll be a big underdog. We have to go there and be a top, top Millwall team – in the sense of being together and hard to beat. Then we have to find a way to break Norwich down.”

IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS

South London News