Millwall boss on Connor Mahoney’s early hooking – and why Hutch played over club skipper

NEIL Harris said Connor Mahoney was “unlucky” to be withdrawn at half-time against Luton on Wednesday night – and explained why Shaun Hutchinson was picked over club captain Alex Pearce.

Ben Thompson was introduced for Mahoney at the break as Millwall changed to a diamond formation in midfield.

Pearce was left out of a league game for the first time this season as Hutchinson made his second Championship start of the campaign.

“Three games in a week, obviously, and Hutch has been ready since pre-season,” Harris said. “Pearcey’s deserved to play, he’s been the captain, the leader, he performed admirably last season.

“He hasn’t done a lot wrong. I just felt that against Luton with split strikers that get down the channels that Hutch’s mobility would help us.

“I thought it was a very strong performance.”

Harris played Thompson and Jayson Molumby either side of Ryan Leonard in the second half at Kenilworth Road, with Jed Wallace ahead of them.

Thompson and Wallace were involved in Tom Bradshaw’s goal.

Harris continued: “I’ve spoken a lot about flexibility and being able to change shape. We’ve played four or five different shapes. Sometimes you want a bit of stability, but when Luton are fluid in a diamond formation sometimes you have to match and you want the right personal.

“Connor was unlucky to come off at half-time. I thought it was important to have Ben’s competitiveness, his running ability and his goal threat.

“It enabled us to move Jed into the middle of the park to play behind the strikers. And obviously it was an effective move for us.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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