Why Millwall fans should expect a top twelve finish


Harris has revived Millwall since his appointment in 2015. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Harriet Lander)

When Neil Harris was appointed manager of Millwall in 2015, nobody would have expected the rise of the small club that could.

Since the arrival of Harris, Millwall’s club-record goalscorer, the Lions have always made slow starts to a campaign, and this season has followed a similar trend. This isn’t a problem, though, as fans of the London club have not been losing sleep over theme this despite their difficult start to the 2018-2019 Championship season.

If you look at the club at this time of the season last year, the club was in a very similar position having thirteen points and winning only three matches. This year they have ten points after as many games.

In fact, since Millwall chairman John Berylson appointed the Millwall favourite three years ago, it’s been a trend that he has yet to be bucked, which could explain why Harris is currently the longest-serving manager in the Championship ahead of Lee Johnson at Bristol City.

A team that believes

Belief, though, can be the best strength for a team. And fans of the South London club have a lot to be positive about especially after last season’s incredible run despite selling key player George Saville to Middlesbrough.

Six new signings in the summer transfer window have bolstered the squad well, with the majority of the new faces putting pressure on the original starting eleven to play. Competition for a place in the starting XI is very healthy in football, and we have already seen this as Ben Amos has displayed last season’s number one Jordan Archer.

Missing the dangerman

Though Amos number’s haven’t been great, only keeping one clean sheet in ten games while conceding eighteen, the Den faithful are more worried about what is going on at the other end of the pitch in the attack. Goals in the team last season were heavily relied on by the midfield as 34 goals were scored from midfield players compared to strikers 21 goals.

Though Harris has done the smart thing and invested in a goalscorer in the form of Tom Bradshaw, who will make his loan move permanent from Barnsley in January, the manager is likely to phase out Steve Morison within the course of the season or at least compete with Tom Elliot for the main backup space.

And it doesn’t look like George Saville has been missed much this season. Barring his goals, his replacement, Ryan Leonard, has been on impressive form since joining the club on loan last summer. Leonard’s hit the ground running with his bruiser attitude and desire to win the ball back at all costs has made him a fan favourite at the club in a short space of time.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Leaving behind the spirit from Tim Cahill being at the club for half a season last year, it did look like the Lions had lost their bite this term. The team look to have worked through their early season wobbles and are finally working towards the way they played  last season, meaning teams are starting to fear having to play Millwall again.

And recent results are starting to show that fear. Millwall fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 away to Nottingham Forest and followed that up with a 2-1 win against struggling Aston Villa, and you could argue that had two softer penalty decisions not been given against Sheffield United it may have been a different game for the Lions.

And after looking at Millwall’s next few games, you can sense that the South London club have a huge chance to make up some lost ground in the upcoming matches. First up is Reading, who haven’t won in their last three. After that, the Lions face Wigan and Ipswich home, two winnable games given Millwall’s relatively good home form.

With Harris leading the small club revolution and Lions finally finding their feat in the Championship this season, the wind could well and truly be in the sails for Millwall.


About Author

News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

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