Alex Grace’s four takeaways from Millwall’s 1-0 win over Watford – Harris’ team up for the Championship relegation battle but Bradshaw injury a blow

Millwall made it back-to-back wins for the first time since the festive period after they beat Watford 1-0 at The Den on Saturday afternoon.

Zian Flemming’s eighth goal of the season inside the first three minutes of the game was enough to seal another much-needed win for Neil Harris’s side. 

Here are Alex Grace’s takeaways from another battling display:


Flemming is firmly up and running under Neil Harris. It’s two in two games for the Dutchman. Both have been set-pieces, but both have been vital goals that have earned his side six points. Of course, he has not had a season compared to last season’s level, but he is showing he cares and is up for the fight to keep the Lions in the Championship for what would be an eighth season on the trot. 

Harris has changed shape since his arrival. He has ditched the five at the back and has gone with a 4-2-3-1 formation. This has made Flemming a lot more effective. He works very well as a number ten. Under Joe Edwards, he struggled in the wide positions and that caused problems for the team. He is not used to having to track back and help out his full-back. 

He once again looks comfortable in a Millwall shirt, and playing in his preferred role is undoubtedly helping to get the best out of him, and that can only be a good thing.


It was said after last weekend’s win over Southampton that it was a big win and a big moment, but this was equally just as significant.

It is straightforward at the moment – Millwall must win to avoid dropping into the bottom three, as all the teams around them are picking up points. The win at St Mary’s was a little dampened by other results, and it was a similar feeling on Saturday. 

With 11 games to go, the league has become very congested. Four teams are locked on 38 points, with only four goals separating Stoke in 22nd, the final relegation place and QPR in 19th. 

The teams at the bottom have shown grit and determination, and as a result, it has dragged a lot of other sides who thought they may have escaped the battle right back into it. Even Watford, who are 12th, are now only six points above the drop zone.

It’s tough to predict how many points will be needed, but with 11 games to go, it is set up to be a fascinating battle for survival.


It is safe to say that before the return of Neil Harris, Millwall had lost their inner steel. They had lost their ability to stay in games and endure hard times. That has changed massively since Harris walked back through the doors at The Den. 

He said he would bring the ‘Millwallness’ back to the team. He said he knew how to get the best of a Millwall team, and it might be uncomfortable viewing, but you cannot argue with the record so far. Six points from six and two excellent and strong defensive showings. If you think back to last season, particularly Stoke away, it was a hard battle. Flemming’s early goal gave his side the lead, and they battled hard and defended resolutely to ensure they held onto that win. Every point is precious in this relegation battle. 

Millwall defended for their lives – without the ball, they were superb. Defensive positioning was terrific. Jake Cooper and Japhet Tanganga were outstanding. They won most of their duals and ensured Matija Sarkic had very little to do. 


It has not been an excellent season for Millwall, but the news that Tom Bradshaw looks to be out for the rest of the season has compounded that misery a bit more.

Bradshaw has not had the best goal-scoring season, but he gives the team so much. Under the Joe Edwards style, it was evident at QPR how much the Lions missed him pressing from the front. 

Michael Obafemi and Bradshaw are different players. Obafemi is more of a natural finisher than Bradshaw is. However, from what we have seen so far from the on-loan Burnley man, he is not someone to press and chase down to the level that Bradshaw does. 

However, we must remember that Obafemi is only partially fit. He has not played much football this season and is still getting up to speed with his match fitness. 

It means the Lions have only one recognised striker for what looks to be the remainder of the season. Duncan Watmore, Ryan Longman, Aidomo Emakhu and Zian Flemming are all options that can play as a number nine, and Harris will need to utilise them during the run-in.

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