BY JAKE SANDERS
Neil Harris admitted he would have used up to six substitutes at half-time in Millwall’s defeat to Preston North End if they were available.
The Lions boss introduced Shane Ferguson and Steve Morison at the break, with his side 3-0 down thanks to three goals in the opening 27 minutes from Andrew Hughes, Tom Clarke and Sean Maguire.
Ben Thompson came on midway through the second-half and slammed home his first Championship goal to reduce the deficit, but it wasn’t enough – and the South Londoners remain winless at home in the league since the 1-0 victory against Nottingham Forest on December 29.
“All three [subs] made an impact,” Harris said. “No major shakes with Murray [Wallace] and Tom [Elliott] coming off, if I felt it was safe enough to make the third at half-time I would have done. But if I’d had five or six changes to make I’d have made them all. That’s how disappointed I was with the group.
“Second-half was better, Ben [Thompson] got his goal. I was really pleased with him when he came on. All action and he showed some quality as well.“
Preston’s opening two goals came from set-pieces, and the Lions boss slammed his side’s “embarrassing” defending.
“Preston were good today. Alex [Neil] really got them at it. First two goals we didn’t do our jobs, simple as that. Any walk of life, the job you’re paid to do you have to do it. We didn’t do that first half. Two goals from set-pieces, really poor – the second one is embarrassing. Players just didn’t do what they were supposed to do.
“The third goal it was a great ball, great finish. It was just the way it was going.
“We didn’t get out of the traps, didn’t get going, weren’t at the races, didn’t get first balls, second balls – couldn’t get near the ball. It was hugely frustrating.
“The second half was better. A change of personnel made us better. There was a little reminder at half-time what was expected of them playing for this club. I thought we were better than Preston second-half, but you can’t give teams two, three goals head starts, it’s too good a division. I praise my players for their second-half performance but not the first, it was terrible.”