MORAIS JUST ACE FOR PARKY’S MEN
Rusty Fil is still too sharp for Lions
PHIL PARKINSON heaped praise on Filipe Morais after the super-sub, who did not take part in preseason training, struck a sweet free-kick to secure a draw for the Trotters.
In a battle between two of the Championship’s promoted sides there was little goalmouth action in a timid first half, during which the visitors packed the midfield.
But the game sprung into life after the break, with George Saville’s excellent opener cancelled out by a free-kick of real quality from second-half substitute Morais.
“We’ve tried to get players in the building who’ve got a real point to prove and Fil typifies that,” said Parkinson.
“He wants to show everyone he can play at this level and I’m sure he can because he’s got real hunger to show everybody.
“Fil’s missed the whole of pre-season and he’s a key player for us. He came in January last year and had an outstanding last part of the season.”
Bolton are operating with a thin-looking squad at present, but Parkinson opted to rest some players from the Cup game in midweek and was pleased with his team’s performance in south London.
“I’m delighted with our own performance,” he added. “Millwall’s a tough place to come, especially for their first game back in the Championship. We always knew it was going to be difficult.
“We stood strong as a team and apart from one slack moment to give them the goal, some of our defending and players putting their bodies on the line was top class.”
The Trotters have won on their last two visits to the Den, but were undone when the superb Saville received a chipped pass from Lions talisman Steve Morison, played a neat one-two, and prodded home from six yards with the second half four minutes old.
Parkinson’s response was to send on Morais, and he almost had an instant impact when he sent in a cross from the right only for Adam Le Fondre to misdirect the header.
The impact was finally felt by Millwall on 62 minutes when Morais lined up a free-kick from 20 yards and expertly stroked it into the top corner, with Jordan Archer unable to get within touching distance.
But with Millwall in control for large periods of the match, as they were in the 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest last week, boss Neil Harris was left to rue missed chances.
“We were the better team, we had the most chances, got our noses in front,” he said.
“I’ve no complaints on the goal, it was an unfortunate one. Hutch slipped to give the foul away, if he doesn’t slip then he heads it clear and the ball doesn’t go in our net. But what a great free-kick.
“We controlled large parts of the game, we’ve not always been threatening in and around the six-yard box.
“[Mark] Beevers head’s one off the line then blocks one on the line, both from Morison, the keeper makes a couple of really good saves – we looked a lot more dangerous.
“I’m disappointed not to win the game. That’s two games in a row where we’ve been the better team in this division and we’ve only got one point from it.
“However, saying that, I’m really pleased for my players that we get our first point on the board.”
BY GEORGE: George Saville threads in Millwall’s opening goal