BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall manager Neil Harris has heaped praise on Steve Morison – with the Den legend set to have played his last football for the club.
The 35-year-old striker joined Shrewsbury Town on a season-long loan on Wednesday afternoon.
And Harris, who played and managed Morison at the Lions, admits it is tough to see him go.
“It is with a heavy heart that Steve leaves us – but with my full respect and best wishes,” said the Millwall manager. “We’ll have to see whether he will carry on playing after next season or come back to the club.
“I’m waiting one day for him to coach and pass on his knowledge at this place.
“But first and foremost it is about Steve Morison playing his football, and us all being able to look back at his Millwall career. He won’t be judged as a 35-year-old last season – his career will be judged on the fact he came from non-league, with everything to prove, and scored a hell of a lot of goals. He achieved so much in a Millwall shirt.
“There are so many special memories for him, his family, for the fans and for me – to have played with him. I can’t be prouder of the fact he has made the decision to carry on playing – he wants to do what he loves doing.
“I fully understand that. When I left to go to Southend around the same age it was because I wanted to play every minute of every game.
“They are the players you want in the changing room.
“I want to thank Moro and not just for being a servant to the club, for what he has done for the club. He has been my captain for a period of time. I feel the same as when Tony Craig left, because you put faith in these players – give them trust and give them scope to lead your troops in the changing room and the pitch.
“Moro has delivered time and time again.
“When we spoke over the summer about various things it was about trying to utilise him a little more than just on the pitch.
“Steve knew exactly where we were at over the summer. I wanted him to stay and be part of the club but ultimately the man he is, the professional he is, the career he has had and the character he has got means he wants to play every minute. I can’t fault he has the hunger and desire still.”
Millwall will kick off the 2019-20 season at home to Preston North End on August 3. They host Charlton on November 9 with the return at The Valley on April 4.
Harris said: “I’ve got to be honest, I was really excited to see when we would be playing Charlton.
“It would have been a waste if it had been the first one up or the last one out, so I’m pleased they have come out where they have.
“And Leeds were another couple of dates I looked for as well because they are good battles.
“Preston up first is a really tough game – we know from last season they are hungry, organised and fit.
“But you look at every fixture and they are all tough, it is why we were so desperate to be in this league. It’s only once you get into the season you can properly judge where other teams are at.”