Neil Harris heaps praise on Matt Smith after netting first Millwall goal in West Brom draw

BY JAKE SANDERS

Neil Harris praised the impact of Matt Smith after the striker scored his first Millwall goal to continue their unbeaten start to the Championship campaign with a 1-1 draw at West Brom.

The Lions looked like they were heading for a 1-0 defeat after Kyle Bartley’s second-half header put the Baggies in front, but Smith, who had only been on the pitch for ten minutes, lashed home from captain Alex Pearce’s cut-back.

“He was a handful, wasn’t he?,” Harris said. “I’m delighted for him that he got the goal. He could have had eight goals in pre-season, I’ve never seen someone with such bad luck through a run of games.

“He’s a player that can score a lot of goals for us, the way we play, the way we can dictate set-plays and get up the pitch. He can score goals in this team.

“It’s another real positive for the group, that we showed the character, the belief and the confidence to come back after conceding a really disappointing goal, and at a place like this to then go on and look so threatening with the changes.

“It’s a great position to be in to be able to make the subs that I have in the last two games, it shows where we’re at.

“To limit West Brom to what attacking threat they had, they’d a lot of the ball but didn’t get near our penalty area for long periods. I was delighted with the shape of the team and we deserved a point.

“Being able to bring Smudge on, and Jon Dadi [Bodvarsson], and let’s not forget Fergie [Shane Ferguson], an international full-back, and still have the quality on the bench that we did shows to the players that win, lose or draw I’m prepared to change the team, change the shape in certain games to suit us and to suit the opposition.

“It also shows the players that they’re going to be needed and they’ll feel valued. I was really pleased with the impact of the subs coming on.”

PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS

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