When Neil Harris’s Lions finally exited the FA Cup on a high, having conquered a number of Premier League teams along the way, they had to put aside the glamour and heartache of the run and focus on one thing – promotion.
Having slipped into a play-off position almost by the back door Millwall FC now face another agony-or-ecstasy moment when they return to Wembley to challenge Bradford for the final Championship berth.
They will draw strength from their last visit to the home of football – a disappointing defeat last season against Barnsley which saw the team fail to deliver on any of the promise they had shown.
The manager says that was a harsh lesson – and one they can use on Saturday, May 20.
The semi-final showed two sides of the Lions over the two legs against Scunthorpe. A frustrating 0-0 draw at home followed by Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 victory at Glanford Park.
“It will be a tough game - Bradford are a good footballing side and they will rise to the occasion as well,” said Harris.
“It will be a great advert for this level. We’ve had two closely-fought games against them and I’m sure this will be another close encounter.
“And we’ll lean on our experience of last year to help get us through.”
It was again Millwall’s strike partnership that had the edge in an end-to-end contest. Two goals from stalwart Steve Morison, either side of a header from Lee Gregory, put them on top 3-1 but there followed a nervy final few minutes following Stephen Dawson’s long-range strike.
Harris said: “It’s unfair to pick out a single person because we were fantastic from back to front, but the front two have big hearts.
“Over the two games, I thought they dominated Scunthorpe’s centre-halves.
“You talk about match-ups and they’ve played against three centre-halves a lot this year and dominated them as well.
“They were outstanding. Yes they got the goals, but there was a lot of honesty and hard work behind them as well.
“We knew we could come here and win but it’s another thing doing it. What a performance it was.”
Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander said: “I felt we did a great job down at Millwall and if we’d have performed as we have performed at home previously we would have been good enough to go through.
“We didn’t really reach that level though and the goal just before half-time I felt gave Millwall a massive lift.”
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