The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Gwilym

MILL­WALL manager Neil Har­ris is con­fi­dent his side can avoid the drop re­gard­less of whether the Foot­ball League choose to pun­ish rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Rother­ham with a points de­duc­tion.

The Li­ons picked up a hard­fought draw at Cardiff to move to within four points of the Millers and safety, although they could eas­ily have tri­umphed in south Wales had Gary Tay­lor-Fletcher slot­ted home a gilt-edged chance late on.

But the deficit to Rother­ham could be cut to just a sin­gle point if the Foot­ball League choose to hand the York­shire club a de­duc­tion for field­ing an in­el­i­gi­ble player in their Easter Mon­day clash against Brighton.

The gov­ern­ing body’s de­ci­sion could end up at­tach­ing ad­di­tional sig­nif­i­cance to Tay­lor-Fletcher’s fail­ure to con­vert Ri­cardo Fuller’s pull-back with the goal at his mercy, with the striker in­stead tread­ing on the ball.

Ear­lier de­fender Mark Beev­ers had struck the bar when Cardiff failed to clear a cor­ner, with Bruno Manga block­ing Lee Gre­gory’s fol­low-up ef­fort on the line.

But Har­ris pre­ferred to fo­cus on the pos­i­tives and has ev­ery con­fi­dence of ex­tend­ing Mill­wall’s stay in the Cham­pi­onship into a sixth sea­son.

The for­mer striker said:“Gary is dis­ap­pointed with that chance and not scor­ing, as are a few of the other boys. We had a few good chances to score.

“But the pleas­ing thing is we are get­ting those chances. Ri­cardo [Fuller] and Gary did well com­ing on, they were a pos­i­tive change and had we got one goal we might have had two or three.

“I know as much as any­one else about the Rother­ham sit­u­a­tion. We just know we are back in the mix. It does not help us not know­ing but we have to look af­ter our­selves and keep go­ing.

“The teams above us are look­ing over their shoul­ders, it may not have been the best of games but we are show­ing we have got what it takes to win foot­ball games and it means the sides above us know they need to pick up wins to stay ahead.

“This is a good point, we have a clean sheet and we were the bet­ter team.

“With Rother­ham there is noth­ing we can do about it, we need to go to Black­burn on Tues­day and get a good re­sult.”

Cardiff wasted good chances of their own, although in truth this was a drab con­test which of­fered lit­tle en­cour­age­ment for home fans who have now seen just one win in their side’s last ten games at Cardiff City Sta­dium.

Eoin Doyle had the best chance to make sure they im­proved on that dis­mal record.

The for­mer Ch­ester­field man showed great con­trol to take Lee Peltier’s pass on his chest and then race around Sid Nel­son, but opted to cross in­stead of shoot­ing him­self.

Blue­birds’ as­sis­tant boss Scott Young ad­mit­ted it had been a poor dis­play from the hosts.

“It was not a great game or a great spec­ta­cle,” he said.

“Mill­wall came with a plan to slow the game down and make it a nig­gly af­fair.

“They spoiled the flu­ency of the game and we could not get any mo­men­tum.

“They have got the point so credit to them.

“We try and give the fans some­thing to smile about ev­ery time we go onto the pitch and we are as dis­ap­pointed as the fans are.

“We edged the first half but give them credit and they were prob­a­bly the bet­ter team in the sec­ond half.

“But I wouldn’t say they de­served to win the game. We had some good mo­ments our­selves. We had some chances but we could not make the most of them.

“We need to go again and try and put smiles on the fans faces.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

HEADS UP: Mill­wall’s Nad­jim Ab­dou clears from a cor­ner. Inset: Joe Ma­son’s shot is blocked by Sid Nel­son

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