Millwall boss Neil Harris positive despite 2-0 loss at promotion-chasing Leeds United

Millwall head coach Neil Harris described Leeds United’s opening goal in their 2-0 win today as “poor” – but added he could not fault the effort levels of his squad.

The Lions boss tasted defeat for the first time since he succeeded Joe Edwards last month.

Wily Gnonto fired the hosts, who went top of the table as they maintained their unbeaten league record at Elland Road this season, in front after 33 minutes.

Substitute Dan James wrapped up the outcome 11 minutes from time from Georginio Rutter’s low cutback.

Matija Sarkic also made a couple of vital stops for Millwall, who had more of the ball in the second period without carving out major chances.

Harris told Sky Sports: “We limited Leeds to not a lot and we frustrated the crowd. The game settled a little bit and we give a poor goal away.

“The lead up to it…two or three times we can do so much better. Decision-making on the halfway line was really poor. Ultimately the first goal comes because we don’t win the first ball, the second ball or the third ball – and that is not what a Millwall team does. That was disappointing.

“Second half we got a foothold and there was a 10-15 minute spell where we were the better team. We looked like we were building some momentum and we were getting towards the last knockings of the game – where we can maybe put another attacking player on – and then we concede. That is the frustration.

“The application of the players was excellent. Ten points from five games is a great return, so I’m not bemoaning the group in there. I just said that we have to keep improving.”

Millwall had seen results go for them on Saturday afternoon with none of the clubs below able to record a victory.

“Leeds deserved to win the game,” said Harris, in his press conference to the written media. “They were the better team over the course of the 90 minutes. We had spells in the game where I was really pleased.

“We conceded goals at poor times. We were on top in both halves when we conceded. That is not a Millwall trait to have. They were from restarts. The first one is from our goal-kick and the ball ends up in our net. We can talk about how good the goal is but we have to do better in the build up to it.

“The four subs (he made) came on and made a real impact. It is brave to make four subs in one go. I felt we had to try and adjust our mentality and be on the front foot.

“The lads were excellent, when they came on.

“We had a 10-12 minute spell when we were on top and made a few chances and I thought we controlled proceedings and quietened down Leeds. That is the disappointment with the second goal. If we can just hang in there for another five minutes, carry on that momentum, then you really make the place nervy. To give the second goal away just settles everyone down.”

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