ROARING LIONS ARE ‘RUTHLESS’
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.”
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