Neil Harris pleased with Millwall’s response to silence critics

Manager Neil Harris rounded on Millwall’s critics after the Lions recorded a crucial victory at Birmingham.

Ben Thompson struck twice in a 2-0 win to aid their Sky Bet Championship survival fight and keep Millwall above the relegation zone.

But Rotherham’s late winner at QPR kept the Lions just a point ahead of the bottom three.

Victory ended a run of four straight defeats for Millwall and Harris believes his side proved a point following the weekend’s 2-1 loss at drop-rivals Bolton.

He said: “There were some very unfair articles written at the weekend which criticised me and the players. Some were very unjust and it hurt me and the players. We wanted a response.

“It’s tough to win games at Championship level. I thought the lads were outstanding. Ben Thompson will get the plaudits but he will be the first to admit the team were excellent.

“We had a huddle at the end to show our solidarity an it was an opportunity to say ‘well done, those are the standards we have to set’.

“It was to show everyone that you can criticise us all you want but we’re a strong group and we do our best every day.”

The game avoided any incidents after Sunday’s flashpoint where Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was assaulted by a supporter who ran onto the field. Paul Mitchell was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison on Monday.

Harris added: “We mentioned it, it’s been a tough week for everyone here. I know myself from being at a club where you have difficult moments, it’s tough.

“This is a great football club, one person ruins it for everyone else.”

Birmingham suffered a third-straight defeat to sit 12th but boss Garry Monk dismissed any suggestion Sunday’s defeat and events had a bearing on Wednesday’s performance.

“I don’t associate the two games. There’s no excuses from us. Simply, it wasn’t good enough,” he said.

“We’re in a sticky patch. A lot of hard work has gone into the season and that needs to be cemented with a strong finish.

“I’m hugely disappointed, we were well below the levels we are capable of. After an initial bright start, it was full of errors and it proved costly.

“It was poor, too many mistakes, too many individual errors. You cannot make those mistakes and expect to come back and get a result.”