Neil Harris admits he knew Wearside trip would be a tough challenge, following Sunderland draw

The Millwall manager stated that he knew the trip to the Stadium of Light would be a "tough challenge" despite Sunderland's current situation.

Neil Harris admits he knew Wearside trip would be a tough challenge, following Sunderland draw
Above: Neil Harris during the 0-0 draw with Cardiff City | Photo: Getty Images/Athena Pictures

Millwall manager Neil Harris stated that he was aware of the "tough challenge" ahead of his side with their trip to Sunderland despite their current situation, but admitted that he was "disappointed" they could only muster a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light. 

Their fantastic players gets lost on people

The Lions headed to the North East in a seemingly troubling position down in the lower regions of the Championship table, but certainly not as troubling of that of their hosts who were rooted to the bottom of the table and desperate to avoid making history with their 20th home game without victory. 

It got off to a bad start for Harris' side as Lewis Grabban gave Robbie Stockdale's side the lead with a big help from goalkeeper Jordan Archer, however they quickly turned it around with two quick-fire free-kicks from George Saville gave them the lead. 

The scoring finished right after the restart for the second period with Adam Matthews' effort, the result saw Millwall move down one position to 18th but though he admitted he was "disappointed" Harris stated he knew the "tough challenge" that presented itself at the Stadium of Light. 

"I look at it from my point of view," Harris told his post-match press conference. "We've come to Sunderland, you come with the thought process that; poor home record, no manger, but when you look at the team they have got some fantastic players and that gets lost on people."

"We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and I said to the boys that you know there will be moments when the crowd will really go with them and they go against them," the manager stated to the gathered press. "And to go a goal behind and get back in front goalkeeping errors or not you know its a great achievement."

"But then its key moments for us leading up to half-time was strong," the 40-year-old stated. "And I said to the boys the last thing I said to them is the first 15 minutes of the second-half was vital you know we have to kill the game and then I really fancied us to go on a get a third and a fourth on the counter-attack."

"We gave a poor second goal away and your backs to the wall a bit," Stockdale added. "A point gained yes but disappointed certainly as well." 

Embed from Getty Images

He's a super young man and a very good player 

Saville put in another positive performance following on from making his move to The Den permanent in the summer, having played on loan at Millwall back in the 2012-13 season. 

The 24-year-old was certainly helped by the poor performance of Robin Ruiter who could have prevented both goals, but took his tally up to four for the season and Harris was full of praise for the Northern Ireland international post-match. 

"I thought the second one was an excellent free-kick," he said. "The first one you know he hits the target and it really bounces in front of the goalkeeper and you're hoping ricochet and a tap-in."

"The second one you know I thought was a good free-kick in the corner," the coach proclaimed. "Should the keeper save it I'd imagine Robbie would say yes."

"But I was delighted for Georgie he's a super young man and a very good player," Stockdale concluded. "And you know he's got a good goals return so far this season."