if they get one back and then another

in Regeln 18.05.2018 03:55
von langouba | 755 Beiträge

Millwall are potentially 90 minutes away from securing an immediate return to the Championship. Ahead of the League One play-off final, Nick Lustig speaks to the Lions chief executive Andy Ambler about Neil Harris first full season in management and their rise to the Wembley showpiece… There have been no suit fittings for the Millwall squad ahead of their season-defining clash against Barnsley on Sunday. Instead, the Millwall players will be wearing tracksuits before the play-off final and thats exactly how manager Neil Harris wants it.Wembley may be the location, but its being treated as just another match by Harris and his staff. Its a business-like approach that has certainly served his young squad well this season and could yet reap the reward of promotion back to the Championship. Its also a methodology and style that has impressed Andy Ambler. Neil is learning all the time and his feet are on the ground. But I believe, without bigging him up too much, that hes got the potential to be one of the best English managers in many, many years, Ambler told Sky Sports. I believe, without bigging him up too much, that hes got the potential to be one of the best English managers in many, many years Andy Ambler on Millwall manager Neil Harris Whatever the outcome at Wembley, Harris first full season in management has been a success.Harris has restored optimism at a club that had lost its way following the departure of Kenny Jackett in 2013. The subsequent appointments of Steve Lomas, and then Ian Holloway, had not proved successful and by the time Harris assumed interim control in March 2015, Millwall were already heading for League One with a demoralised first-team squad.It was probably more of a gamble for him than it was for us, Ambler added when recalling the decision to offer Harris the reins on a temporary basis. We were a struggling Championship side. We lost 4-0 away to Bradford in the FA Cup for a place to play against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the next round and had been battered elsewhere. The morale in the dressing room was probably as low as I had ever seen it while I have been at the club. We all felt that we could be putting Neil in a situation that might bring him down.But Harris - Millwalls all-time record goalscorer with 138 goals - was confident enough to believe he could have a positive impact on a club where he is considered part of the fabric.He took the job on a permanent basis last summer and, along with Ambler and owner John Berylson, quickly went about changing the clubs on-field strategy, which included a revamp of the first-team squad. It was out with the old and in with the new, with a particular focus on youth. Andy Ambler is hugely impressed with the job done by Harris this season Harris had spent two years working with the clubs U21 team prior to being appointed manager and trusted the crop of talented youngsters that had come through under the stewardship of academy director Scott Fitzgerald.The likes of Ben Thompson, Aiden OBrien and Fred Onyedinma were given their chance, with Millwall keen to bear the fruits of their £1.5m-yearly outlay on the clubs academy. But not everything went smoothly at first.Ambler points to a poor start at home - a run of four straight defeats - as the character-building experience the young players needed to produce a push towards promotion and also added with a wry smile that we all got a bit of abuse at that time.But it is Harris who Ambler is full of praise for and credits with engineering a rapid turnaround in the clubs fortunes. Lee Gregory (left) has been one of many success stories for Millwall I know this has been said many times and is an overused cliché in football, but he is actually the first one in and the last one out, Ambler said. And even when he gets home, hes working on set-ups and watching many, many games.I think some people will be looking at us and saying well, its Neil Harris at Millwall, its bound to be successful, but that is undermining what he is doing and how hard he has had to work to get to this point.The respect he has from everyone at this football club is immense and he has earned that respect over many, many years of being here. Everyone at that training ground listens when he speaks. They just want to learn from him about the football club, the way to behave when you are at this football club and what this football club demands. Its hugely impressive.Thompson, a boyhood Millwall fan, has typified Harris young side. Bullish and determined in the midfield, despite his slight frame, Thompson is certainly not afraid to stick his foot in where it matters. New arrivals Jordan Archer and Mahlon Romeo have blossomed, while Harris has still found some room within the new strategy to incorporate experienced heads Tony Craig and Steve Morison, who returned to The Den to provide a reassuring presence in the new-look youthful side. Steve Morison is enjoying his third spell at Millwall and has struck a superb partnership with Gregory Lee Gregory, plucked from non-league Halifax in 2014, has also been reinvigorated under Harris, contributing 27 goals this season, including two in the play-off semi-final tie against Bradford.It has all led them to within 90 minutes of promotion to the Championship. It would be a massive boost financially for the club to be back in the Championship, but it would be even better for the fans to be able to welcome the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa and some of the other teams down to The Den because thats where we want to be, Ambler said when asked about what promotion would mean for the club. Highlights of the League One playoff semi-final second leg between Millwall and Bradford But the plan would be to see if these kids are good enough to play in the Championship and see if they can become Championship players. Yes, therell be changes in the summer, there always are at football clubs, but it wont be major surgery for us whichever division we are playing in.That slight reservation at the end is due to the fact that Millwall have been here before and experienced both the pain and glory of the play-off final. They were defeated in 2009, losing a thrilling final to Scunthorpe, but returned a year later to claim victory over Swindon. Over 30,000 Millwall fans will descend upon Wembley Way on Sunday, with American Berylson also making his 24th trip over from Boston this season to attend the match. Harris wants trouble-free return Neil Harris does not want a repeat of the ugly scenes which ruined Millwalls last trip to Wembley… Ambler, who is a member of the Football League board, is a big fan of the play-offs and will be at all three finals this weekend. But he admits containing his nerves this time around has been a hard task. The play-offs are fantastic, but only if youre not in them. They are a wonderful experience for the neutral and I mean that, he said. The worst feeling I have ever had in football was playing Bradford here last week because we were 3-1 up. I would have preferred to have been at 0-0 coming back to The Den because being 3-1 up if they get one back and then another, the whole emphasis can change. 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