(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Millwall manager Neil Harris is remaining positive despite being ‘disappointed’ with his side’s defeat at Sheffield United last night.
The Lions travelled to Bramall Lane hoping to narrow the gap to the play-offs, but goals from Jack O’Connell and Kieron Freeman meant they stayed seventh, three points off Southend, while the Blades extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points.
However, Harris was happy with how his players performed, ruing missed opportunities at both ends of the pitch as the main difference between his play-off chasing team and Chris Wilder’s title chasing team.
“I’m disappointed with the result – there’s no doubting that,” Harris told Millwall’s official club website after the game. “But I’m pleased with some aspects of our play. A lot of our performance was really good.
“I’ve said to the guys that when you play against a team that’s top of the League, when you play at the next level – as Sheffield United will do next year – it becomes about both boxes.
“The first goal, we don’t defend a set-play and then with the second, we have three chances to clear the ball better than we did and we didn’t.
“You can’t give those kinds of players opportunities.”
With seven games of the season left, Millwall still have some work to do if they want to make the play-offs for a second consecutive year, and their clash with Scunthorpe at the Den on Saturday kick-starts a hectic April.
In big games so far this campaign, fine margins have blighted the Lions, but Harris will be hoping his side have learnt from those situations, especially when defending set-pieces, when they take on fourth placed Iron at the weekend.
Harris said: “Bolton and Sheffield United are the two top teams that will get promoted this year. If you look at their set-play records – scoring and conceding – it’s by far better than anyone else in the League.
“That’s been our downfall tonight, as well as against Bolton.
“We matched Sheffield United man-to-man when we changed formation and went to 4-3-3, but we can’t give them a helping hand with the goals like we did.
“They took their key moments and we didn’t – that was the difference.”