Millwall head coach Neil Harris confident of positive response to ‘negative outcome’

Neil Harris says his Millwall players are ready to respond to their first notable setback since he returned to the club as head coach.

The Lions lost 2-1 at Rotherham United on Monday as they paid a price for missing a succession of big chances.

The result not only staved off the Millers being mathematically relegated but also pitched the South Londoners into a relegation six-pointer at Huddersfield Town.

If Millwall win they can punch a seven-point gap to the Terriers, who occupy the final drop spot, with only five matches remaining.

Defeat would hand Birmingham and Plymouth the chance to climb above them and leave them just a point clear of the bottom three ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Leicester City.

“It’s the first round of fixtures where we have had a negative outcome,” Harris told the South London Press. “ We lost to Leeds (before the international break) but it was still a positive weekend because nine teams around us didn’t win a game of football.

“We have to deal with the adversity and disappointment of Rotherham. When you concede a late goal after completely dominating the match it is always frustrating.

“It cost us a point. We arguably did enough to win the game comfortably two or three times over.

“We lost a point but I do look at the positive factor from the Birmingham match and say we scored a 93rd-minute winner to gain two more points.

“In the bigger scheme of things it is a disappointing result and not one I’ll accept lightly.

“However, what we have done over the last five weeks is put ourselves in a much stronger position than we were when I inherited the group.

“There are loads of positives to focus on – what a negative does is add a little bit more pressure going into the next game and the one after that.

“We have to learn from Rotherham, accept and embrace the adversity from it and respond – that is my message to the players.

“We had a fantastic meeting Tuesday morning to discuss how the game went – to review the goals we conceded and opportunities we created – but also how we mentally approached the game at various moments as well.

“Mentality is a huge side of the game and we fell a little bit short at key moments in a game we completely dominated. We have to learn from that and take it into Saturday.

“What I’ve seen of the group already is they are prepared to roll their sleeves up, respond and fight – compete for the football club. We will certainly do that for Huddersfield.”

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