ROAR­ING LIONS ARE ‘RUTH­LESS’

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Alex Brodie

DE­LIGHTED Mill­wall man­ager Neil Har­ris hailed his ‘ruth­less’ lions af­ter they tore Black­pool to pieces to stay right in the thick of the pro­mo­tion bat­tle.

Lee Gre­gory opened the scor­ing with a sim­ple header be­fore a Jed Wal­lace free-kick and Steve Mori­son penalty com­pleted the rout. Black­pool’s dis­ap­point­ment was com­pounded when Hay­den White was sent off for a se­cond book­able of­fence.

“We dom­i­nated and were ruth­less,” said Har­ris. “I was re­ally pleased with the per­for­mance.

“We’re into the busi­ness end of the sea­son and where we’re for­tu­nate is that we don’t get too high when we win and we don’t get too low when we lose.

“The ca­ma­raderie in the dress­ing room is great be­cause ev­ery­one wants to be in the team and it’s a dif­fi­cult team to get in.

“The guys re­ally en­joy them­selves. They work hard, but we’re go­ing into all of th­ese 11 games ex­actly the same. That’s key at this stage of the sea­son.” Black­pool are the joint-low­est scor­ers in League One and showed why when Uche Ik­peazu headed wide early on.

They were made to pay on seven min­utes when Gre­gory con­verted a sim­i­larly sim­ple header af­ter a Car­los Ed­wards long throw was al­lowed to bounce in the box.

The Seasiders’ prob­lems were dou­bled – and cap­tain and keeper Colin Doyle left fum­ing – when Wal­lace’s 20-yard free-kick went through the wall and into the bot­tom cor­ner in the 23rd minute.

Mill­wall con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate and though Jimmy Ab­dou and Ben Thomp­son were fac­ing a mid­field three, they were rarely breached.

Neil McDon­ald’s Black­pool, two points from safety in 21st, passed the ball calmly but with too lit­tle in­ci­sion and a goal­mouth scram­ble was their best first-half chance af­ter Ik­peazu’s miss.

They fared lit­tle bet­ter af­ter the break, with two Brad Potts shots from 20 yards and a wild strike from Ik­peazu. Mori­son struck the in­side of the post be­fore White re­ceived a se­cond yel­low for a bla­tant shirt-pull on Shane Fer­gu­son. Tan­ger­ines sub­sti­tute Mark Cullen then had an ef­fort ruled out for off­side be­fore Mori­son’s spot-kick fol­low­ing a Tom Al­dred hand­ball.

McDon­ald ad­mit­ted that Wal­lace’s free-kick, which went through the wall, was a poor goal to con­cede, but sees play­ers crit­i­cis- ing each other as proof they care.

“I’ve looked at the free­kick and Uche (Ik­peazu) has stood firm and it’s gone in be­tween him and John (Her­ron),” he said. “That wall shouldn’t be break­ing.

“It’s a sim­ple ball into the net that gave our keeper no chance. We have to take the ball on the chest or in the face, wher­ever it is, so that’s dis­ap­point­ing.

“The team spirit is still there, they still dig each other out and they de­mand things of each other. That’s why they’re hav­ing a go at each other. We lack a bit of con­fi­dence, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up. It’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to pick them up this week, but we need to start all guns blaz­ing against Coven­try next week.”

PIC­TURES: David Char­bit/Pro Sport

FREE: Lee Gre­gory es­capes his marker to head home the open­ing goal STAR MAN JIMMY AB­DOU Millwa

ll EASY DOES IT: Mill­wall’s Jed Wal­lace cel­e­brates af­ter his free-kick flew through the wall and in

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