TAYLOR MADE TO DELIGHT THE DEN
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.”
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