Neil Harris determined to help James Berylson achieve his vision for Millwall

Neil Harris is determined to help Millwall owner James Berylson achieve his vision for the Championship club.

Harris returned to the Lions yesterday as head coach – the South Londoners moving quickly to seal a return for their former boss after sacking Joe Edwards.

The 46-year-old, who holds Millwall’s all-time scoring record, quit Cambridge United to take on the challenge at The Den.

Harris won promotion as boss in 2017 from League One and had a special bond with John Berylson, who was killed in a car accident in July.

Berylson’s son James has replaced his father as chairman and been a regular in attendance at matches this season.

“I had a wonderful personal relationship with John but an amazing working relationship with him as well,” Harris told the South London Press.

“I’ve said so many times after his passing that he was not just a boss to me. He was a friend, an ally and someone I’d rely on heavily for an opinion for many, many years on different aspects of my life.

“But I’ve known Jimmy a very long time also, over the years at the football club. I look forward to building that working relationship that has been present – when Jimmy has been a board member over the years of my first tenure. I look forward to building that owner-coach relationship because we get on extremely well.

“We will work extremely well together. I know what Jimmy’s philosophy is for the football club – what he wants and how he wants it done. I look forward to helping him build that.”

Harris’ first match back in control of the Lions is at Southampton on Saturday.

The Lions are winless in seven matches and have lost six of those.

There are 13 games remaining – six at The Den – for Millwall to pull clear of danger and secure an eight successive campaign in England’s second tier.

“It’s all about the short and mid-term for me at the football club now,” said Harris. “My role, coming in today, is to make sure that the day I leave the football club is in a better position than when I took over.

“That is my philosophy for my position.

“That starts today, now, but the short-termism of the job is getting through the next 48 hours at Southampton as a target – then, believe it or not, the mid-term has to be between now and the end of the season, a 13-game mini-league.

“We can’t forget what has gone on the first 33 games – we have to embrace and understand that – but the importance is what is coming in front of us. We have a monumental task of going to St Mary’s (Stadium) on Saturday for my first game in charge but I look forward to that challenge.

“Then it is about the 12 games afterwards, to make sure we galvanise the players and gain enough points between now and the end of the season to make sure we’re in the Championship next season.”

See tomorrow’s South London Press for more in-depth and unrivalled Millwall coverage.

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