Millwall manager Neil Harris always expected Bolton Wanderers game to take place

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall boss Neil Harris never had any doubt that Saturday’s match at Bolton Wanderers would be on.

The fixture looked under threat earlier this week due to the spiralling financial problems of the hosts.

But on Wednesday it was confirmed that the crunch Championship fixture was definitely on.

“In my mind I never doubted the game being on,” said Harris. “We know the importance of the game and what happens at Bolton’s end is irrelevant to me. All I care about is my team and my players and us getting it right personnel-wise and tactic-wise, making sure we’re in the best possible place for the game.

“I think it’s time for putting the players under a little bit of pressure – to say now they have got to perform. We’ve got to win games before the end of the season because teams around us will win games.

“We go into the match in a much healthier position than Bolton. Bolton have really got to beat us to have a chance of staying up. It’s not as make or break for us. We went up there last season and won and completely dominated Bolton in the first game of the season at The Den. After falling behind early we should have won the game.

“It’s time now for the players to step up and perform. We’ve had games in the last few years where they’ve had to perform under pressure in play-off matches and cup games and players hugely responded. As much as it is in the past, there is the mentality in individuals to produce when it matters.

“I expect them to produce on Saturday.

“You can’t just expect to be riding the crest of a wave all the time and be top of the league. There will be times you are fighting and scrapping – you’ve got to stand up to it, put your shoulders back, chest out and go ‘right, I want this. This is my career and I want to play’. That’s the attitude I expect from my players this week.”

IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS