Millwall boss Neil Harris: It’s a point gained – rather than two lost

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall manager Neil Harris felt it was a case of a point gained – rather than two dropped – after tonight’s 0-0 draw with QPR.

A stop-start contest – perhaps reflecting the fact that both clubs are not clear of the Championship survival dogfight, ended with a lack of huge incident.

But Millwall managed to edge themselves two points clear of Rotherham United, who occupy the final relegation spot.

Harris said: “It was a point gained, really. We didn’t really do enough to win the game – neither team did.

“Any of you local London reporters who thought QPR might turn up and get rolled over at The Den – that got dispelled in the first 10 minutes with the tackles flying in on the pitch.

“It was a great derby, played at a real tempo. It certainly lacked quality at times because of the pace of the game. We weren’t quite inventive enough in the final third – the moments of quality we had at the weekend – to cause QPR big problems.

“I’m delighted with the goalkeeper, my back four – the whole team – with different characteristics to Saturday. They are probably the biggest team we have faced this year, maybe barring Boro, and we had to stand strong to the direct play, long throws and set-plays. And we did, we managed that.

“To get two clean sheets in a row at this stage of the season was pleasing. It’s pushed us up the table again, which is a real positive, looking at the results.

“Every point is going to be important.”

Harris felt that Lee Gregory was pulled back by Joel Lynch as he raced on to Ryan Tunnicliffe’s ball over the top.

Referee John Brooks – booed off at the break due to a number of his calls – did not see it as a foul.

“I felt in the first half things went against us with the referee,” said Harris. “We can’t control them. I’ve not come up to complain about the ref or moan about the ref.

“I thought it was two teams who certainly didn’t want to get beaten. QPR certainly had a reaction to Saturday, John [Eustace, caretaker boss] will be really proud of his players.

“I’ll look at the positives for my team.

“I thought it [the Gregory incident] was a foul. I’ve seen it back from various angles and the more you see it the more we can debate things. But sometimes you’re better seeing things real-time with a football brain. 

“I said to the referee afterwards that anytime a player gets between the ball and a player and there is contact, there has to be a foul. If there is a coming together, it’s a foul. It doesn’t matter if he is last man or first man at the other end – it doesn’t matter.”

Asked if Lynch should have seen red, Harris replied: “Again, debatable. If it’s accidental, it is a red card? I don’t know, I don’t make the rules. I’m not quite sure who makes the rules anymore. 

“What I will say is they went down the other end and James Meredith makes a great last-ditch tackle, which I think would have incensed the locals if that had gone in.”

At half-time results elsewhere meant that Millwall were in the bottom three.

Not that Harris had any inkling what was going on at other grounds. By full-time things had taken a better twist with Reading, Rotherham and Wigan all failing to hold on to leads.

“No, because you can’t control them,” said the Lions chief – when asked if he sought out the scores at the break. “I’m pleased I’m in the changing room and not sitting with you guys [in the press box] and worrying about what’s going on.

“I have to keep focused on us trying to win games. And being hard to beat, my team was hard to beat tonight.

“On the back of two tough home games, tough in different ways, four points is a good return.”

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