Millwall manager reveals attacking statistic that puts Lions in Championship’s top three

MILLWALL are in the Championship’s top three for the number of times they get the ball into the final third of the pitch – but Neil Harris has challenged his side to create better goal-scoring opportunities for his front players.

Tom Bradshaw’s strike in the 1-1 draw at Luton on Wednesday night was his third of the season. Matt Smith also has three goals, while Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has two.

That’s two-thirds of the Lions’ goals in all competitions this season.

Bradshaw pounced at Kenilworth Road after Jed Wallace’s shot had been palmed out by Simon Sluga, and the striker was applauded off the pitch by Lions fans.

“He got a great reception,” Harris said. “I thought he was outstanding, his work ethic, his link-up play, his movement, his defensive responsibilities when called upon. He took his goal well.

“He’s a good player, and he’s a poacher. It’s the same with Smithy and Jon Dadi, they all have their strengths and they all have their weaknesses. They know that and I know that. But all three of them need to be fed the ball in the penalty area, and I can’t be any clearer. We work tirelessly to get the ball there.

“We’re in the top three for final-third entries in the division. Whether we smash it long, whether we play 50 passes to get there, we’re in the top three. But we haven’t scored enough goals.

“It’s not because the goal-scorers haven’t been scoring, it’s because they haven’t been getting the chances. Players have to take responsibility to create better chances.”

Millwall are still looking for a first away win this season.

“Of course it’s frustrating,” Harris admitted. “People talk about it and I respect that and understand that. However, we’ve only lost three games all season. We’ve not conceded loads of goals, but we’ve not scored enough. That’s ultimately been our issue.

“Tonight, first half, the players weren’t positive enough. They have to be more positive, they have to find that confidence themselves – it can’t always be me giving it to them.

“Second half we played aggressively with and without the ball and we were much better.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly