“We all love the boss” – Millwall winger on one key way that Neil Harris gets them ticking


Jed Wallace has revealed one aspect of Neil Harris’ transformation job on Millwall – he gives players the freedom to use their strengths.

The Lions boss made it three years at the helm last weekend and during that time has had two play-off campaigns – with a promotion via that route in May – plus reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Now Millwall are part of the group of clubs hoping that they can take advantage of any slip-ups to snare a Championship top-six finish.

Wallace, 23, had a taster of the way Harris works when he spent the second half of last season on loan. And he then signed permanently from Wolves in the summer.

“We all love him,” said Wallace. “We’ve all had our fair share of overseas managers. I’ve had managers in the building for 28 days in a row and you get two days off – you are away from your family and friends. You’re not really sure what your role is on the pitch.

“He has got a good group of boys together who he knows are going to run through brick walls. He’s just honest, tells you where you are at.

“He lets people play to their strengths. We play a direct style of football, but he doesn’t ask that of Shaun Williams. He lets people use their quality. He would never put shackles on me – don’t do this or that. He knows if we’re working hard we can play like we want.

“He got handed a team where there was a toxic atmosphere, which it was under [Ian] Holloway, and has  achieved so much over the last couple of years. We’re on Channel 5 once every three weeks and they say Neil Harris has done a great job. But it is incredible how much it has gone under the radar. It is good news for the club – we have managed to keep hold of him.

“Long may that continue. A Millwall team under Neil Harris is everything I would want to see on a Saturday if I was a Millwall fan. If the opposition have a shot there are seven of us rolling around trying to block it.

Jed Wallace, Millwall

“You can say we have ridden our luck on Saturday [against Brentford] but that is the first time this season we have won a game we didn’t deserve to win.

“The best part is his recruitment. Everyone in the changing room is a nice bloke and just being a nice guy goes a long way. Luckily we have backed it up.”

Millwall are six points behind Middlesbrough, who occupy the final play-off place, with the right sequence of results tomorrow potentially pushing them as high as seventh.

“The manager said to us at the weekend that no-one gives us any credit – we’ll only get it if we get in that top-10,” said Wallace.

“People say Phil Parkinson has done a great job at Bolton, and he has – but what does that mean the manager has done here? You’re talking about a division where people spend £25million or £20million in one window, and we’ve probably spent £700,000.

“We’ve got a small squad. Someone like Mahlon [Romeo] was binned by a club at the bottom of League One – now he looks like a player who could go and play in the Premier League. That is testament to the staff here.

Millwall’s Jed Wallace and Sheffield Wednesday’s Glenn Loovens

“Bloomy [Laurence Bloom] and the physios go a long way, that is also underestimated. You can see from the GPS tracking how much running we do – a lot – and touch wood we have not had a lot of injuries.

“We love it that everyone is against us.”

Millwall’s consolidation in English football’s second tier has been done without major expenditure – as least by comparison to many of the other clubs at this level. Wallace said: “I believe the budget at Millwall has been quite good before and that was when Millwall had a lot of older players, whereas this is a dressing room full of young, hungry players who can hopefully go on to do well for Millwall or elsewhere.

“What tends to happen is two or three players fall out of the changing room and two or three get added and that has kicked us on again.

“If we can keep adding players like that in the next two years then Millwall can keep on improving.”

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