Millwall’s points return under Neil Harris means they can ‘play with element of freedom’ at Leeds United

Neil Harris is looking forward to taking Millwall to Elland Road on Sunday – with his recent visits to Leeds United normally anything but quiet affairs.

The Lions legend’s last two matches there in his previous spell as Den boss saw 12 goals scored.

That includes an epic 4-3 win over the Yorkshire club in January 2018 – with late goals from Tom Elliott and Jed Wallace settling a thriller.

Harris also drew 3-3 there with Cardiff City, his next stop after leaving Millwall, fighting back from trailing 3-0 before the hour mark.

Leeds, second in the Championship table, have the best home record in the division with 14 wins, four draws and no defeats.

Millwall are five points clear of the bottom three.

“My side never goes anywhere with any fear,” head coach Harris told the South London Press. “So we are not going with any fear to Leeds.

“I said after the game against Birmingham (last weekend) that 10 points from four games earned us the right to go and play with an element of freedom.

“I think any Millwall fan understands what I mean by that – I mean there is a little bit of pressure relieved from an individual game, that we are not chasing a single result in a fixture. We can go and express ourselves in our own right.

“Leeds are flying at the top of the division and we are flying, in the lower mid-reaches of the division – both teams want a result.

“I look at my group and think that individually they have played extremely well and collectively we have been very, very good. We’re a difficult side to play against at the moment – four opposition managers have commented about how organised, structured and difficult we are.

“We are not a nice team to play against at the moment and that’s what we have to be at Elland Road. All I’ll ask of my players on Sunday is to be the best they can individually be and be the best Millwall team they can be – that is enough for me and that is enough for the fans.

“When you go into games like this you also need that element of luck as well. Ultimately Leeds have got an excellent record and have a very talented side but they are there to be shot at – and that’s our aim.”

When the Lions shaded their 2018 clash with Leeds it was the second fixture of a 17-game unbeaten run that took them to the brink of the play-offs – the sequence ended by a Fulham side that triumphed 3-0 at The Den and went on to win promotion at Wembley.

Asked where that victory over United rated in his career, Harris said: “If I went through my top 10 matches as a player and as a manager for Millwall Football Club there would be three or four in each column against Leeds.

“I loved playing at Elland Road as a player – I’ve been victorious there in play-off semi-finals – and I loved playing them at The Den, the atmosphere that both sets of fans generate is electric.

“As a manager I’ve had some fantastic games against them as well, against Marcelo Bielsa teams, where I’ve been very fortunate to come out the right side of most of them.

“The 4-3 was a standout fixture because of the nature of the win and it was our first away win of the season. I hope this one is memorable for the same reasons.

“I like playing at Elland Road. I love the big club mentality. I love the noise of the crowd. I love our fans at Elland Road.

“For whatever reason it brings out the best in my Millwall teams.

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