Date: 16th November 2015 at 7:56am
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With Saturday’s draw pitting Millwall against Southend in the Area Semi Finals of this year’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, manager Neil Harris has confirmed that the club are taking the competition seriously as he wants a day out at Wembley.

Speaking to the South London Press ahead of the draw, Harris explained that we were taking the competition seriously especially as we’re one of only two League One sides left in the draw.

Ironically his hometown club and our next opponents Southend are the other one.

‘We have always thought it was a serious proposition, from day one. Each round has given us a different challenge. The first round gave us our first home victory of the season, against Peterborough. Then beating Northampton gave us a lift after we had been beaten by Peterborough away in the league. All three wins also came just before the international break and we wanted to win them to go into each spell with some momentum – and have succeeded.’

Harris added.

‘We are on a terrific run of games now and our focus has not changed and it will not change. Whoever we draw, we will want to win the game. If we keep winning, we will be successful.’

There was an obvious feeling for Southend as he spoke.

‘It would not do us any harm to get Southend in the draw. There was a lot of disappointment after both games against them, when we came away with nothing. But we need to be respectful to whoever we get because they will have won three games to get to the area semi-final.’

In a second piece by the same outlet, they also have Harris quoted as saying that despite being on a run of eight unbeaten, he’s still searching for improvement from the side because he knows there is more to come from them.

‘I will keep reminding the players of keeping up the standards we have set. We will not let anyone rest on their laurels. The boys know my thoughts and I am not afraid to share them. We are nowhere near the finished article. We will strive to get better – and we will. We are pleased with how we are going, with the run we are on. But the players know we can still improve. And they take praise and criticism in the right manner.’

Harris went on to say that he doesn’t hide his emotions from the side and if he’s angry the team or the individual in particular will know about it, but equally if he’s happy he makes sure they know about that as well.

‘I try to be consistent with what I say to them, good or bad. But I always try to give feedback constructively, whether that is at half-time, in the moment or afterwards or on the training pitch. This team is not just about the 90 minutes on a Saturday. I will lay down the law to some, on the pitch or the training ground. But I also speak to them one-on-one. When you sign players, you need to get a feel for the person, whether it is is on loan or a permanent one. Some need an arm around them, and I am happy to do that. That is part of the game. I only try to be myself with the players. I have a lot of respect for them. I treat them like people, with home lives and issues they have to deal with, just like everyone. A lot of them are in their mid-20s, with young families to worry about.’

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