Millwall head coach Neil Harris: Den success is down to my players – they take the credit

Millwall look assured of Championship status next season after a 3-1 win over Cardiff City today.

The Lions are 16th in the table and six points clear of the bottom three – with only three matches remaining.

Millwall have been excellent at The Den since Neil Harris returned in February. They have not tasted defeat in SE16 since their all-time leading goalscorer replaced Joe Edwards as head coach with this afternoon’s result their fourth victory – taking 13 points from a possible 15 on home turf.

Michael Obafemi drilled the hosts into a ninth minute lead.

Cardiff equalised when Yakou Meite’s header squeezed past Matija Sarkic at his near post from a free-kick by Rubin Colvill.

But Millwall went back in front in the third minute of stoppage time in the first half. Romain Esse’s cross only got a glancing connection from Ryan Longman but was met first-time on the volley by captain Jake Cooper for his first goal since February 4, 2023.

Obafemi was denied a second after the restart by Cardiff keeper Ethan Horvath, who also turned away a Zian Flemming attempt.

Two Millwall subs combined for the clincher in the third minute of added time. Brooke Norton-Cuffy broke through a sliding tackle and his cross was converted first time by Duncan Watmore.

Harris said: “The lads have done brilliant, haven’t they? Every man and his dog wanted to tell me these lads didn’t know how to play at The Den. I keep saying about galvanising the football club and bringing the terrace and the pitch together.

“Yes, I played my part in it with team selection and style of play – trying to show the lads clips and educate them how to play each position, in front of our fanbase, at home.

“But then it is down to the players when they go on the pitch. They take the credit and praise for it. Tuesday night against Leicester was a monumental performance by the players and was a special evening – a big result needed.

“In some respects I am more pleased with today. Because to back that up – when we weren’t the favourites because Cardiff are going well under Erol (Bulut) – with such a comprehensive performance for long parts of it was testament to the group mentality.

“The first 15-20 minutes were excellent. We got our noses in front and I’m thinking ‘right, we can go and get a second and third here’. It didn’t materialise and the reason why it didn’t is that we then kept giving the ball away.

“Ultimately second half we used the ball much better. Duncan Watmore’s introduction gave us so much energy, forward runs and ability in the final third to cause Cardiff problems.

“We looked a lot more confident today with the ball. If we had scored the third goal at the start of the second half we might have gone on and got four or five.”

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