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04 August 2017

Millwall have spent this transfer window buying players who have something to prove and they SHOULD keep us up

MILLWALL have enjoyed an almost-perfect transfer window – but it still must be put on context.

In securing seven signings they have spent more than £40million less than Middlesbrough, and just over half what Friday night’s opponents Nottingham Forest splashed out on Daryl Murphy.

Millwall celebrate winning promotion to the Championship
Millwall celebrate winning promotion to the Championship
Getty Images – Getty
Millwall boss Neil Harris has had a near-perfect transfer window so far
Millwall boss Neil Harris has had a near-perfect transfer window so far
Rex Features

Six of those seven players were on the list Lions boss Neil Harris handed club chairman John Berylson just four days after May’s play-off final win over Bradford.

The seventh, Ryan Tunnicliffe, released this summer by Fulham, had been on the radar for some time and Millwall moved for him after seeing two bids for Ryan Leonard were knocked back by Southend.

Millwall spent £1.2m in total on fees on three players: George Saville and Jed Wallace from Wolves, and Jake Cooper from Reading.

New full-backs Conor McLaughlin and James Meredith, signed from Fleetwood and Bradford, respectively, were named in the League One team of the year last season.

Harris recruited 6ft 4in striker Tom Elliott after his contract with Wimbledon expired.

All those players, like the club this season, have something to prove.

Millwall have signed midfielder George Saville from Wolves
Millwall have signed midfielder George Saville from Wolves
Reuters
New Millwall signing Jed Wallace (left) has arrived from Wolves
New Millwall signing Jed Wallace (left) has arrived from Wolves
Getty Images – Getty


Millwall are one of the favourites to go down, but when it was put to Harris by a journalist this week that the aim would be to “avoid relegation”, he quickly snapped back: “Your words, not mine.”

Elliott was signed to take some pressure off target man Steve Morison.

Millwall striker Steve Morison has new faces to take the pressure off him
Millwall striker Steve Morison has new faces to take the pressure off him
PA:Press Association

The former Norwich and Leeds striker – who turns 34 later this month – played 107 times in the last two seasons, and was Millwall’s top scorer in 2016-17.

Millwall are unapologetically direct under Harris, and Morison is key to how they play.

He dominated most League One defences, but may not be able to repeat that against better players, so the Lions’ game plan may not be as effective.

If Millwall boss Neil Harris keeps us up it would be a great achievement
If Millwall boss Neil Harris keeps us up it would be a great achievement
Rex Features

Even so, every player will know his job.

Millwall were a mess when Harris took over in March 2015. But he has re-organised and re-energised the club, given them an identifiable playing style, and there will be fewer harder working or more diligent managers in the division next season.

He wouldn’t admit it now, but if he keeps Millwall up it will be an impressive achievement.

Season prediction: 19th

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Millwall players celebrate promotion in the Wembley dressing room
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