Boss Harris outlines value of Millwall strikers

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris highlighted the importance to his side of strikers Steve Morison and Lee Gregory after they played key roles in the 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth at The Den on Saturday.

Morison put the Lions ahead with his 13th goal of the season – and 80th for the club – before he laid on the second for Shaun Cummings.

Gregory was also crucial to Millwall’s game plan and almost forced an early opener when he closed down Cherries goalkeeper Adam Federici.

“They’re a handful. They’re great guys, first and foremost,” Harris said. “They get on really well and I think it’s important you have that chemistry as a front pair.

“They feed off each other and they’re certainly a threat in every game we play.

“Steve scored the goal and Steve Morison is Steve Morison, he’s a great talisman for us. But Lee Gregory was excellent without the ball. I said to them in particular, it’s not just with the ball you’ve got to be outstanding, in games like this it’s a team effort to defend.

“You certainly need leaders, whatever level you play, you need leaders in the dressing room and experience. For me a big thing is you need youthfulness and you need experience. You need young lads to drive the senior players every day in training with energy and enthusiasm, and you need the seniors to keep the youngsters on the right road.

“Steve gives us so much with and without the ball. He gives us that Millwall knowledge, himself and Tony Craig in particular as senior players that have played here a long time. Steve deserves every opportunity he gets. He’s not getting any younger but he’s still scoring goals. And if he’s not scoring goals he’s creating them.

“Keeping him fit is key, and managing him on the training pitch is key.”

Harris also praised Fred Onyedinma whose spectacular run in the first half after he had robbed Jordan Ibe of the ball on the edge of the Millwall area almost resulted in Gregory scoring at the other end of the pitch.

“He’s a talented boy, he showed the ability he’s got and the promise he’s got, as much without the ball as with it,” Harris said. “I did think once he’d skipped through three players if he’s got that little bit more energy and he’s one v one with the defender he could be through on goal, but he made an excellent decision to pass the ball and we could have scored.

“We knew that Bournemouth would want to come and play football. We knew it was vital that for us to have any chance of competing in the game we’d have to press high, stop their goalkeeper from playing and at the right times make tackles and compete.

“What my side won’t lack is having the edge to compete. I asked my players to be aggressive with the ball and without the ball.

“My players and the fans will enjoy looking forward to the draw and I will sit on the sofa with my kids and enjoy watching it.

“I’d like it to be at The Den, I’m not fussed who we play at home.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly