Millwall chairman John Berylson has sung the praises of Neil Harris – describing him as one of the top young bosses in the English game.
Harris chose to step down as manager on Thursday with assistant boss David Livermore also leaving his role.
First-team coach Adam Barrett took charge of the Lions side for Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Leeds United.
Harris won 102 of his 245 matches in charge, drawing 66 and losing 77. His win percentage was 41.6.
Berylson chose to appoint the club’s all-time record goalscorer after sacking Ian Holloway in March 2015. The Lions won League One promotion as well as reaching two FA Cup quarter finals and finished eighth in the Championship under Harris’ watch.
The American owner, writing in the Millwall matchday programme, said: “I would like to start firstly by thanking Neil from the bottom of my heart for all of his hard work, commitment and dedication to the job since his appointment in 2015.
“At that moment in time the club had lost its way somewhat, culminating in relegation to League One. Neil very quickly and effectively established a new culture, one built with characteristics with which Millwall is synonymous; a never-say-die attitude, will-to-win, passion and desire.
“On the first day of his time in charge, Neil asked people to judge his legendary playing career here separately to his time as boss, no matter how long or short the latter proved to be, and it so turned out that his achievements as a manager quickly ensured the etching of his name into the history books as a manager too.
“Two trips to Wembley, one promotion, two FA Cup quarter-finals and consolidation once again as a Championship club – all inside just over four seasons. Those successes have furthered Neil’s standing as one of Millwall’s greatest legends.
“I have always taken such immense pride in owning this football club but those feelings of honour and gratitude have never been greater than during these past few years. Neil leaves this club with his head held high and I am in no doubt that he will continue to prove himself as one of the best young managers around in the future.
“It would be amiss for me to not also thank and praise Dave Livermore, who has stood side-by-side with Neil this whole time and who has done an exemplary job behind the scenes.
“He too was able to take his wealth of knowledge about the club and what it takes to be a proper Millwall player and impart that experience on to all those who he coached. For that he deserves enormous credit also.
“The process of recruiting a new manager to take the club forward is well underway. I’d like to assure supporters that the decision is one which will not be rushed as we look to appoint the individual who we feel can achieve success in both the short and long-term.
“We have built and improved season-by-season in recent years and it’s important that the new manager, whoever they be, is able to come in and use those solid foundations to take the team forward into the rest of this season and beyond.
“At our disposal we have a well-balanced squad made up of experienced leaders, talented youngsters and those approaching their prime years.
“It is as good a blend of players as we have had throughout my time here.”
PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS
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