Millwall boss on starting Shane Ferguson, James Meredith’s reaction to losing his starting spot and Tom Elliott impact at Sheffield United

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Neil Harris has explained his decision to bring Shane Ferguson straight back into his side after serving his suspension.

The Northern Ireland international missed three matches after his red card against Everton.

But Ferguson was recalled for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United with James Meredith dropping out of the starting 11.

Harris said: “I wanted to change the shape, I wanted to play with a back five.

“Shane is a natural wing-back – James Meredith has done great for us in the last two – but I wanted to put Shane’s quality into the team. We have missed Shane as certain times as a starter or off the bench. I was really pleased with him.

“James is very understanding. James struggles with three games in a week, he knew before the week started that he wouldn’t be playing all three games. On the back of West Brom I wanted to keep him in on Wednesday night. I had already had in my mind months ago that I was going to play a back five here.”

Tom Elliott did well as a second-half substitute for the Lions.

Harris said: “Tom came on and was a real handful, it gave us a different dimension in attack.

“I thought we could have been better picking up the second balls around him, it gave us an opportunity to not only be able to play between the lines and get the ball wide but have a focal point.”