BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Neil Harris has admitted that Lee Gregory with be an “immense loss” to Millwall.
The striker’s deal is up at the end of June and the Lions chief told the South London Press last week that he did not expect him to stay.
Stoke City have been linked with a move for Gregory’s services.
The frontman played in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic.
“I can only thank him for his efforts while I’ve been in charge,” said Harris.
“Not just his goal-scoring record, but his quality as a person.
“He is hugely, hugely popular in the changing room, massively popular with the staff because of his honesty, his trust, his performances and his work ethic. And he’s a fan favourite as well.
“We’re going to miss him immensely at the club.
“He goes with complete blessing from me to the future playing for a club further up north. He’ll be a great signing for somebody.
“When I took over I changed to 4-4-2 because I thought Lee Gregory was going to be my best player. I changed to 4-4-2 because I thought it got the best out of him. It did.
“It was always chucked at him that he couldn’t play in a 4-3-3 as a lone striker. Well, in the last three months we’ve played a 4-3-3 the majority of the time and he’s been one of the best strikers in the division. That shows his development as a player and a character.
“I’ve known for a period of time that he’s leaving, and so has he, but he’s been faultless in his performances. It shows why I’ve picked him, why I’ve left other players out of the squad recently. People have said: ‘Why is the manager not playing him? Why is he not picking him?’ Well, I’ve left them out because they don’t want to be here or they don’t deserve to be here.
“Lee Gregory’s not going to be here – and I’ve 100 per cent known that for a period – but I’ve picked him every game because his professionalism and his attitude and everything that goes with it has been first-class.”
PICTURES BY BRIAN TONKS