Har­ris: I will not watch Millers

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tom Cur­ran

MILL­WALL boss Neil Har­ris was un­der­stand­ably de­jected af­ter Lee Gre­gory’s hat-trick had the Li­ons dreaming of a great es­cape, only to see Derby share the points late on in a pul­sat­ing game.

Gre­gory’s first-half dou­ble, the sec­ond from the penalty spot, had the home fans be­liev­ing, though Tom Ince’s fine free-kick gave the vis­i­tors a crumb of com­fort.

An­other Gre­gory penalty mo­ments af­ter the break should have ended the ar­gu­ment but Derby, with a play-off place on the line, kept fight­ing, Ince win­ning a penalty for Chris Martin to con­vert.

And a won­der vol­ley five min­utes from time from Jeff Hen­drick saw the points shared, with Mill­wall now need­ing to win at Wolves on the fi­nal day and hope for other re­sults to go their way if they are to ex­tend their Cham­pi­onship stay to six sea­sons.

“I can’t pick them up at the mo­ment,” said Har­ris. “They come in on Mon­day morn­ing and pick them­selves up and we have to sit and wait to see how Rother­ham go on Tues­day.

“It’s re­ally sim­ple: if Rother­ham get the win on Tues­day we’re rel­e­gated. I won’t be watch­ing the game.The play­ers as a group are built on hope and be­lief and to come from be­ing on the run they were on and to get the per­for­mances and re­sults they’ve got has been tes­ti­mony to them.

“I cer­tainly am not ac­cept­ing per­spec­tive and ‘well dones’ for achiev­ing some points, es­pe­cially at home. The bot­tom line is if you play for Mill­wall Foot­ball Club you have to win your home games.”

The first goal, af­ter 26 min­utes, was an ab­so­lute hor­ror show for Derby keeper Lee Grant as his sliced clear­ance found Gre­gory who ran un­op­posed into the box and fin­ished well.

Shortly af­ter, a strong burst down the left flank from Lee Martin saw Richard Keogh han­dle in the box, Gre­gory calmly con­vert­ing the penalty.

Derby were rat­tled, but a cheap free-kick on the edge of the Mill­wall area al­lowed Ince to curl a left-footed beauty over the wall and send the vis­i­tors into the dress­ing room on a high note.

A need­less cor­ner con­ceded by Derby be­came a need­less penalty early in the sec­ond-half as Hen­drick was lucky to es­cape with a book­ing af­ter seem­ingly el­bow­ing Nicky Bai­ley.

Once again it was Gre­gory, now vis­i­bly brim­ming with con­fi­dence, who stepped up to com­plete his hat-trick.

Ince’s surg­ing run in the 70th minute saw him clum­sily felled in the box by O’Brien, Chris Martin, re­turn­ing from in­jury, stroking home his 18th league goal this sea­son.

And a breath­tak­ing late equaliser fol­lowed for Derby, Ince pulling it back for an au­da­cious right-footed vol­ley from Hen­drick into the top cor­ner.

Derby manager Steve McClaren was fu­ri­ous about the penal­ties awarded, though proud of his side’s fight back.

“They’re two di­a­bol­i­cal penal­ties,” he said. “I can’t weigh them up, I can’t un­der­stand. It gave us a moun­tain to climb again but they did it and they keep do­ing it.

“I don’t know what the ref­eree is do­ing to give those de­ci­sions.To be fair I haven’t seen them again, but the first one wasn’t even a hand­ball. He’s slid­ing across and I’m not sure it even hits his hand, it hits his thigh.

“We’re mak­ing hard work of ev­ery­thing.

“But I re­ally can­not be­lieve the char­ac­ter of this team.”

his third TRE­BLE: Lee Gre­gory scores

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