Millwall boss on what he expects against Derby

NEIL Harris wants a combination of defensive resilience and attacking flair when Millwall face Frank Lampard’s Derby County at The Den on Saturday.

Millwall kept their second clean sheet in three games this season in the 0-0 EFL Cup draw with Gillingham on Tuesday night before they advanced 3-1 on penalties.

It was a second blank in front of goal for the Lions, after Saturday’s 0-0 Championship draw at Blackburn, having been in rampant attacking form against Middlesbrough on the opening day of the season before conceding two late goals for a 2-2 draw.

Harris made 10 changes for the first-round clash with Gills, James Meredith the only player in the side who started at Ewood Park.

Harris could name the same side for the third successive league game this weekend when Millwall will be aiming to hand the Rams a second successive league defeat.

“You want to be creative and you want to score goals but if you can’t do that you want to make sure you keep clean sheets,” Harris said.

“Two Saturdays ago against Middlesbrough we were outstanding with the ball for nigh-on 90 minutes, scored two goals and could have got six, but didn’t have the clean-sheet mentality to see the game out and win it.

“At Blackburn we weren’t quite as good with the ball but the clean-sheet mentality was there and we stood strong.

“You want a bit of both. You want to be hard to beat, that’s for sure, and Millwall teams, notoriously, should be hard to beat. My teams have to be aggressive and hard to beat, but I do expect some good play as well.

“Saturday against Derby I expect to see both. I expect us to throw our bodies on the line but I also expect us to open teams up and create chances from either free-flowing football or from being aggressive and hustle-bustle.

“Then it’s about having that ruthless touch, and [Tuesday] we didn’t quite have that in the penalty area.

“But, again, I look at myself first and think did I get the right team to get a really strong Millwall performance. Probably not. When I watch the video back I’ll assess who did well and why and who didn’t do quite as well.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly