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Millwall boss rues lack of composure in possession – as Frank talks of clash of styles

NEIL Harris admitted his side weren’t good enough in possession in their defeat to Brentford, their eighth league loss this season.

Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins scored second-half goals to give Thomas Frank his first win as Brentford boss at the fourth attempt.

Millwall had just one shot on target in the game, Bees stopper Daniel Bentley producing a save at full stretch to tip Shaun Hutchinson’s header over the bar.

Millwall haven’t won away from home since April.

“I said to the players that we can’t be up there (raises hand) and down there on the back of winning and losing. That’s important,” Harris said.

“Yes I’m frustrated with the performance and the result. I thought we showed in the first half that we can dig in and grind, not be at our best but stand strong and limit the opponent. I said to the players at half-time that we had to do that again, find a way in the second half and chances would come our way.

“Four minutes into the second half, we’d had the ball in their half for three-and-a-half minutes, but all of a sudden we’re 1-0 down. That’s not acceptable.

“We have to find a way away from home to be better for 90 minutes, not just 45.

“For 45 minutes we showed we can defend very well on the road and stand strong against good sides. But, ultimately, we paid the price because we didn’t use the ball well enough. It’s hard to talk about positives when you’ve been so poor with the ball.

“Yes we play forward-thinking football and we know the demands of this club and how we want to play, but at no time do I say to the players that you can’t put your foot on the ball and be composed as well.

“Today I thought we showed a little bit of a lack of mentality as the away team and that’s certainly what’s got to change going into Norwich next week.

“We didn’t get enough chances to put the ball into Brentford’s box, that’s the frustration of not being good enough with the ball.

“Credit to Brentford for a strong defensive display, but we should find ourselves in better areas of the pitch.

“The last five games I think we’ve made 90 chances, and put God knows how many crosses into the box. Today we didn’t find that momentum, didn’t build enough pressure. We didn’t show enough good decisions with the football. Sometimes you’ve got to make four or five passes before playing the ball forward. Today we played too much one- and two-touch football.

“I was disappointed in the group in that aspect.”

Brentford boss Frank said: “It was two styles: one very direct and one trying to pass.

“We had a very high line…and that avoided the second ball closer to the goal. We need to be brave doing that and we have been practising it.”

Image: Millwall FC 


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