Date: 13th February 2017 at 4:01pm
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Manager Neil Harris has reflected on an important victory over Southend United at the weekend.

Hosting his former club at The Den once more, Millwall took a one nil victory courtesy a second half goal from Fred Onyedinma and speaking to the official site in his post game press conference, a pleased manager spoke of the ‘flair and pace’ that he felt the side played with across the 90 minutes – especially Onyedinma who grabbed his sixth goal of the campaign.

‘For the first half-hour, Fred was almost unplayable at times. He’s raw, got pace and power and is a good finisher in training. With Fred, Jed Wallace and Aiden O’Brien, we’ve got options to rotate. Any of them can play up front or out wide.’

It was a lively affair with the visitors reduced to ten men in the first half with Will Atkinson shown a straight red card after fouling Tony Craig and Harris said he expected nothing less as he knew it would be a tough challenge against Phil Brown’s side.

‘Southend are a really good side. I’ve watched their last few games in preparation. They’re big and strong – men. We knew it was going to be a physical battle and that they’d be up for the challenge of coming to The Den. I thought we were excellent for 40 minutes at 11 v 11. We played with flair, pace and created chances, but then the sending off came and it didn’t galvanise us. We got a little frustrated at times, so when the moment for a clinical head – literally – was needed, I’m delighted that Shaun showed his quality by putting a great ball in and Fred was on hand to put it in the net.’

With games think and fast for a period now and Premier League reigning Champions (albeit struggling this year) Leicester City next up in the FA Cup, Harris dismissed suggestions that thoughts were already on that game – pointing to Port Vale on Tuesday.

‘There’s no chance of players easing off the gas in my dressing room. We’ll have to repeat the athleticism and desire we showed today on Tuesday night – that’s the most important game of the season, because it’s next one.’

Assistant boss Dave Livermore was also speaking following the game and he picked out the work of Jimmy Abdou and Calum Butcher who came into the squad with four enforced changes.

‘They really put a shift in. We ground out the win on Saturday and that performance proves we have a strong squad. I think a lot of credit has to go to those patient players who haven’t played a lot of first-team football recently. They might have been frustrated at times but they’ve been very professional. It’s a credit to them that they took advantage of their opportunity against Southend. We also have to credit the staff for keeping them fit and ready to play. We purposely played them in a few U23s games to make sure that they are ready for the busy run of games coming up.’

He added about the league battle.

‘We have to fight to stay in the top six now. It’s going to be a busy few months for us and it’s crucial that we stay competitive right up until the end of the season.’

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