BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall manager Neil Harris had no opportunity for a traditional post-match drink with Marcelo Bielsa on Saturday – but has labelled the actions of some of Leeds United’s backroom staff to their late equaliser “a disgrace”.
The Lions chief shook hands with the Argentina-born boss at the full-time whistle but then appeared set to confront someone in the away technical area before being led away.
Bielsa had stormed into Millwall’s section when they were slow to give the ball back for a throw in. But after Jack Harrison’s goal the Leeds celebrations were directed at Harris and his coaching staff.
Bielsa apologised for his behaviour in his post-match press conference.
Asked if he had a drink with the Leeds manager, Harris said: “No. I briefly had a five minute catch-up when I went pitchside to do press. We discussed the heated exchange at the end of the game.
“I think Marcelo has already apologised in the press for his bench. And I’ve already stated that my staff could’ve given the ball back slightly quicker, make it more accessible to get the ball.
“But their reaction to the goal is completely over the top and a disgrace in English football.”
Jed Wallace had put Millwall into the lead and the Lions went close on a couple of frenetic goalmouth scraps as well as Tom Elliott’s header hitting the post.
“I felt at the time that their goal was a little bit unjust and looking back it was completely against the run of play,” said Harris. “We were controlling the game and never looked in any danger. The goal is out of nothing – a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.
“On another day it would hit any of the five blue shirts in front of him who are trying to get out to block him. We have to take that on the chin. We showed great character to almost win the game afterwards – instead of going into our shell.
“Tom’s header hits the post, Tom Bradshaw has a shot blocked on the line and Jake Cooper’s header is blocked on the line. Jed puts one wide right before the final whistle. When these things go for you then you win the game.
“It is not going for us but our performance as a whole was outstanding.
“Our fanbase played a part, really getting behind the boys and my players fed off that.
“The pleasing thing is we have played four top sides at home, we couldn’t have had a much tougher start, and we should have had 12 points. We have conceded three late goals in those games but good sides are going to score goals past you at this level.
“There are lots of positives.
“I’m really looking forward to Wednesday [and playing QPR]. The group mentality is outstanding. I’m bitterly disappointed my players did not get the three points they deserved [against Leeds]. It is important to take that momentum into Wednesday.”
IMAGE BY KEITH GILLARD