Millwall’s inconsistency is causing some frustration for our supporters. We followed up our best away win of the season, 4-0 at Southend United with a 2-1 defeat at Barnsley on Saturday (January 2).
One minute the South London club are on a high after a thumping win in front of 1,700 travelling supporters, then less than a week later we are back to Earth with a bump. Some supporters are even questioning Neil Harris and his selection of players. A week is a long time in football.
The result of fielding a young side under an inexperienced manager is unpredictability. The players acknowledge they must be more consistent. Indeed skipper Steve Morison was talking on this very subject before the Barnsley defeat.
Although we lost, we created chances up at Oakwell. We hit the woodwork three times and had a couple of efforts cleared off the line. On another day we might have got a couple more goals.
What we need to do is learn from where we came up short and get a result up at Oldham this Saturday (January 9).
There is a debate among supporters about who manager Neil Harris should be playing in goal. Jordan Archer has been in superb form since getting his chance in the team back in August, but after his sending-off against Gillingham, Harris has kept David Forde in the side.
You can understand why Harris has stuck by Forde. He did nothing wrong in the Walsall defeat and, despite a lot of supporters’ misgivings, the manager was proved correct with a clean sheet and a convincing win at Southend.
Forde hadn’t done anything wrong to justify being dropped. But often a manager stays with a winning side no matter the qualities of those on the bench. To do anything else can actually undermine team spirit in the long run.
With Archer waiting in the wings the pressure is on Forde to perform. If he fails, he will be back on the bench. Hopefully Forde does perform as competition for places generally produces good performances and matching results.
Ian Toal is a committee member at Millwall Supporters Club