By Jakes Sanders
Neil Harris heaped praise on goalkeeper Jordan Archer after he produced a fine display in their goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Archer made a flurry of fine second-half stops to ensure Millwall continued their unbeaten start to the campaign, most notably denying Rovers striker Danny Graham from close-range.
The Scottish international made further saves from Bradley Dack and impressively from Joe Rothwell’s swerving long-range strike, but the home side could not get past the determined Lion and left Ewood Park frustrated.
Despite an encouraging first-half performance, Harris was happy to leave East Lancashire with a point.
“He was certainly our best player today. They had some good strong performances. But Jordan was man of the match for me, definitely. The two close-up [saves] were really good because he’s facing a really good striker in Danny Graham,” Harris said.
“A strong team, a good dressing room get a point today at Blackburn on that second-half performance. I think a weak-mentality team who aren’t quite at it get beaten.
“So I’m really pleased with the dressing-room mentality and that we got a clean sheet.”
Harris’ side started brightly and were denied by the woodwork twice in the opening 30 minutes. Firstly, George Saville crashed the post with a long-range drive before captain Steve Morison was given the freedom of Ewood Park, but could only hit the other post.
It was a dominant first-half display from Millwall, but they could not replicate that in the second 45 minutes and were grateful to leave with a point and clean sheet thanks for their goalkeeper.
Harris continued: “I thought we were good for 40 minutes, no real problems, we used the ball quite wisely at times, we were productive. We hit the post twice and had a couple of shots go just wide.
“I thought if we could get the first one it would be a really positive afternoon. We spoke at half-time about denying Blackburn opportunities. We did well first half to deny them but second half we came out and it went out the window a little bit.
“Blackburn were a little bit better in the basics than us, for whatever reason. There was certainly no lack of effort from the players, as ever. But 50-50 challenges didn’t go our way, the ball dropped to their player constantly. Blackburn played well second half, we never got going, our use of the ball was really poor.
“When we were defending like we were then you have to rely on keeping the ball, and I thought the turnover of possession was too often from us. That’s unlike us.
“When it’s like that and it’s not quite happening for you then you need to get a clean sheet. You get various ways to keep a clean sheet. You can limit opportunities but if you do give opportunities away then you need your goalkeeper. And our goalkeeper was excellent.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.