‘He’s a bit of a leader’ – Millwall caretaker boss has praise for in-form defender

Adam Barrett has praised Wes Harding after the defender netted his second goal in two games.

The former Birmingham and Rotherham centre-back opened his account for the club during the 2-1 defeat to Blackburn last Tuesday and was on target again during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Watford, heading in Millwall’s second goal of the game from George Saville’s corner.

“I’m delighted for Wes – he’s a top professional, ” said Lions caretaker boss Barrett. “He works really hard, he’s come into the group and is a bit of a leader. It’s nice to see a ball in there and someone with some attacking intent to head it in.

“He’s also defended really well for us since he’s come into the building, so hopefully there’s more to come from him. He’s a great character. He’s really stepped up and the lads have taken to him.

“We’ve got a really good group of players in there, there’s a good bond in there, they stick together, they just need to be a little bit braver. I was hoping that if we got the three points the confidence would have come back, because you can see it in spells when we are confident, we can control the game a little bit more than what we have done.”

The caretaker manager has switched Millwall from a back five to a back four for the last two games. Danny McNamara was brought back into the starting line-up with Brooke Norton-Cuffy pushed further forward.

Asked about that decision Barrett said: “Brooke’s been excellent for us since he’s come through the door.

“Danny Mac’s been chomping at the bit, really hungry to come back in, and I think defensively Danny’s very strong. Brooke’s been really good attacking. It was just to push Brooke further forward, he’s played there before, very comfortable.

“He came into it more in the second half when he had the opportunity to get at them and run at them. He’s a threat when he does that. And I’m hoping with the more work we do that he’ll improve in that area as well.”

Millwall have been down to bare bones in recent games, due to a number of injuries to senior players. But George Honeyman was able to make his first start of the season at Watford.

Barrett said. “We’ve missed him from the group and we’ve missed his enthusiasm. He’s an all-action type of player and he’s had a long lay-off with injury. He’s not fully match fit – his first minutes were the other night for half an hour at home [against Blackburn Rovers].

“By 50 minutes he was dead on his feet but it’s pleasing to have him back into the squad and another senior player back.”

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