TAY­LOR MADE TO DE­LIGHT THE DEN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Daniel Zane

NEIL HAR­RIS could hardly have imag­ined a bet­ter re­turn to the Den for Chris Tay­lor. Tay­lor en­joyed a short spell at Mill­wall three years ago be­fore leav­ing to join Cham­pi­onship side Black­burn and re­turned to the Lions just this week on loan.

And the mid­fielder hit the ground run­ning, scor­ing the win­ner against Sh­effield United in­side the open­ing two min­utes. His man­ager ad­mit­ted a fa­mil­iar face – and the im­pec­ca­ble at­ti­tude of his charges – was the dif­fer­ence on the day.

“He knows some of the play­ers, that re­ally helps, and he knows the staff,” said Har­ris. “He knows the club, that’s the most im­por­tant thing.

“He brings ex­pe­ri­ence, but he also brings qual­ity and pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and that’s key.

“I’m de­lighted for him, he de­served the win­ning goal to­day be­cause of his per­for­mance, but the big­gest thing for me was his de­sire to come and play for us was huge.

“Team spirit, for me, it’s ev­ery­thing. It gives them a ca­ma­raderie, it gives them a be­lief in what we do, it gives them a be­lief in what I coach them dur­ing the week. They give ev­ery­thing.

“At this stage of the sea­son it’s tough to keep clean sheets, it’s tough to gain a point let alone three. To do that against a good team, a big club, I’m re­ally pleased.

“I thought it was a phys­i­cal game but I thought it was a re­ally fair game. I thought the ref­eree bossed it re­ally well, it was two com­mit­ted sets of play­ers who didn’t pull out of chal­lenges.”

The Lions struck af­ter just 90 sec­onds when Steve Mori­son’s low cross from the left flank evaded Jimmy Ab­dou but Tay­lor was there to fin­ish pow­er­fully from close range.

They could have added more, with Lee Gre­gory and Mori­son caus­ing prob­lems – and Blades boss Nigel Ad­kins was im­pressed with the strike duo.

“They were a hand­ful at our place,” Ad­kins said.

“We talked about it be­fore the game. I thought they were ex­cel­lent for them and it set the tone. For me, our three cen­tre-halves couldn’t deal with that.”

Ad­kins had de­ployed three cen­tre-backs in or­der to com­bat the in-form pair but Mill­wall struck early and showed their re­solve to hold on.

Billy Sharp found him­self in space shortly af­ter the hour mark but Jor­dan Archer kept out his header and that was as good as it got for United.

“We’ve had good spells, we got crosses in, and the keeper has made a re­ally good save from Billy Sharp,” con­tin­ued Ad­kins.

“I thought we dom­i­nated the se­cond half, their game man­age­ment in re­spect of run­ning the clock down was very good. As soon as we got a bit of mo­men­tum, the game was then stopped with ei­ther an in­jury or a de­lay­ing tac­tic of some de­scrip­tion.

“But we con­trolled a large chunk of the game, get­ting in the at­tack­ing third.

“Was the qual­ity there to go and win this game of foot­ball? You would prob­a­bly say not.”

PIC­TURES: TGSPHOTO

STAR MAN CHRIS TAY­LOR

ll Millwa WE’VE DONE IT! Mill­wall goalscorer Chris Tay­lor cel­e­brates their vic­tory at the fi­nal whis­tle by jump­ing into the arms of Mark Beev­ers

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