Date: 30th May 2016 at 6:00pm
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A disappointed and gutted Neil Harris has insisted Millwall will use the Play Off pain to our advantage next season and look to go one step better in 2016/17.

Making the trip to Wembley to face off against Barnsley in the League One Play Off final on Sunday, a three one defeat ended the dream on the day but some solace can be taken from the disruptive injury suffered by Byron Webster 25 minutes ahead of the game that saw a reshuffle and then Joe Martin’s own first half injury – although of course two one down by the time he went off it’s very much a case of what might have been.

Speaking to the official site in his post game press conference, disappointment was obviously the major feeling of the day, but Harris knew it had still been a very good year from his largely young side, and in crediting Barnsley for a deserved win, he also knew it would be a learning curve for the players – and he backed them to bounce back next term.

‘There’s no excuses. Barnsley deserved to win the game but clearly those absences did affect us. All your preparation with the team on set plays at both ends goes out of the window. But we were able to bring our club captain Tony Craig back in and after conceding two early goals we got ourselves back into the game and I felt at half-time we could find an equaliser and then go on to win. It didn’t quite work out like that, although there were more chances created at both ends. The players have bounced back from adversity throughout the season and did so to a point, again today.’

He went on to add.

‘The crowd got behind us once we pulled a goal back and created genuine belief that we could still achieve something. The message to the players is that we are proud of what we have achieved, but just now the defeat is hard to take.’

With a long campaign almost resulting in promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking, Harris knows it’s all eyes to the summer now and further improvement – as this defeat and being so close should be a motivation for the players next season.

‘My job now is to build a better squad for next season and make sure that we come out with all guns blazing. Several of us were around in 2009 and 2010 when we used the disappointment of that first Play-Off defeat as a spur to win promotion a year later. We have to look at lessons we have learned this year, myself included, and become a better, fitter, hungrier squad capable of winning game after game next season. It won’t be easy. It will take time to get over this but I will be a better manager for the experience next season and they will be better players.’

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