Millwall boss Neil Harris: “I was excited, definitely, but I still get nervous before games because I care”

BY JAKE SANDERS

Neil Harris admitted he was excited by Millwall’s opening day victory against Preston North End – but said he still gets nervous before games.

A first-half Jed Wallace strike earned the Lions boss his 100th win in charge of the club, in a game where the visitors failed to register a single attempt on target.

“The team were in complete control. Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember my goalkeeper making a save,” Harris said. “I thought we dealt with the Frank Fielding situation really well. When you can bring on Bart Bialkowski, wow, player of the year at Ipswich year after year, experience at this level.

“You sometimes worry about a goalkeeper coming on, could it unsettle the team. He came on like he played 300 games for Millwall. I’m really pleased, three points, a quality goal, clean sheet – it doesn’t get better than that.

“There was a different feel today, I’ve got a different group of lads. What was special today was the group that’s building in that changing room got to play in and witness – as the subs did and Jason McCarthy and Jayson Molumby who weren’t in the squad – that atmosphere. That was quite phenomenal.

“It surprised me but it was great and I was delighted for the fans. The fact we finished last season with disappointment, relief on the end. Over the course of the summer the excitement has grown because of the acquisitions that we’ve made. Today the fans turned up today, it was a huge gate, because they’re excited again.

“We’ve got to try and retain that if we can. We’re not going to win every week. I said to the players we don’t get too high when we win or too low when we lose. It’s the same for everyone in the stadium, we can’t do that at this club.

“I was excited, definitely. I get nervous before games because I care. It’s different when you’re a player because you just take care of yourself and go and play. When you manage you worry about your team and everyone’s reaction.

“I see the lads every day and what they’ve brought so far, how good they’ve been and the standards they’ve set. You just hope they can put it into practice the first game and now the challenge to them is to put it into practice next week at West Brom.”

PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS

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