BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Neil Harris described his Millwall side as “outstanding” as they booked their place in the EFL Cup second round last night with a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion.
Tom Bradshaw’s first goal for the Lions cancelled out Charlie Austin’s early opener at The Hawthorns.
Aiden O’Brien finished from a second-half corner.
Millwall will play Oxford United away in the second round.
Millwall had drawn 1-1 at West Brom in the Championship on Saturday and are still undefeated in all competitions.
Harris said: “I was really pleased with Saturday – it was Slav’s [Slaven Bilic] first home game so to come from behind and put in the performance we did was really pleasing.
“Then to go one better tonight was outstanding. I’ve got to be honest, at 1-0 down after 15 minutes, we weren’t playing very well and West Brom looked really sharp and fluid, I was fearing the worst.
“Then again, the group just dug it out. They put a passge of play together, created a chance and we grew into the game.
“I thought for 30 minutes in the first half we looked like the team that had spent all the money and were the dominant home team and it was really exciting to see.
“The second half was more scrappy and we had more time behind the ball again, but setplays are important in this game.
“And when you’ve got two goalscorers on the pitch, Tom Bradshaw and Aiden O’Brien – Jon Dadi (Bodvarsson) is a goalscorer as well, he’s a danger in the six-yard box, you’ve got a chance.
“I’ll let you into a little secret – Jiri Skalak got a mention too because his rise and progress in a Millwall shirt – but all the players, staff and myself gave Tom Bradshaw a standing ovation afterwards.
“I don’t always single out individuals, but Tom got his ovation because it’s not just his first goal for the club, which as a centre forward is so important and I know myself, it’s after the injury he sustained which is key.
“He’s still not 100 per cent match-fit or as sharp as he can be or will be, but he’s a tremendous finisher and he showed that with the goal and the positions he got himself in that he will score goals for this club.
“He was embarrassed by it but we were all so pleased for him.
“I’m not going to put him under huge pressure but it was special for him and special for me as the manager who signed him, and his team-mates.
“His application, desire and commitment, dedication and professionalism, all of that, to come back from the injury he had in the manner he did, was a lesson for any professional footballer, or young lad coming through in the game.”
PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS
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.