Gary Rowett, Chris Hughton and Michael Duff touted as potential successors to Neil Harris at Millwall

Gabriel Sutton by Gabriel Sutton / 04 October 2019, 13:42

It seems hard to imagine the concept of Millwall without Neil Harris – or even Neil Harris without Millwall.

While many other clubs are changing manager with alarming regularity, the Lions have stuck with Harris for over four years – going back to the tail end of the 2014-15 relegation season.

Click here for the Next Millwall Manager Market

Harris has been involved at the Den in some capacity for 16 of the club’s last 20 seasons, bringing the club so many happy memories in that time.

It will be fascinating to see whether Harris can replicate his success in South Bermondsey at another club - he's already been linked with Southend - which is perfectly possible given his track record.

Equally, there is a possibility that his managerial career will mirror his playing career, in that he may come to be remembered most for his association with Millwall.

It could be that the strengths he showed to initiate cultural restoration at the Den post-Holloway are not necessarily the strengths he will require to succeed at other clubs, so he will have to learn and evolve as a manager.

In that sense, it took immense courage for him to realize that maybe Millwall needed some fresh ideas and perhaps the right thing to do would be to step down.

Whereas managerial legends at other clubs have outstayed their welcome through perhaps an obsession with power and egotism, Harris has shown that his love for Millwall is real – he therefore deserves eternal respect and gratitude from all connected.

The question is, in kicking off the post-Harris era, who will Millwall turn to? We look at five contenders.

Adam Barrett

Why he should get the job

Has been entrusted to take charge of Saturday’s hosting of Leeds and is therefore clearly highly regarded as a First Team Development Coach.

As a centre-back in his playing days, he was aggressive, determined, brave and strong, as well as having a disdain for modern dressing room music – probably the type of character Millwall fans will take a shine to.

Why he shouldn’t

It would be a big risk to give somebody with no managerial experience the reigns to jump straight into a relegation battle, even if he has a good stint as caretaker gaffer, as would be a pre-requisite.

Verdict

Millwall should look elsewhere.

Chris Hughton

Why he should get the job

Hughton’s record as a manager in the Championship is outstanding.

He led Newcastle United to the title with 102 points in 2009-10, then kept Brighton up in 2014-15 before leading them to a strong automatic promotion challenge the following season; they of course did go up in 2016-17.

Essentially, the former Tottenham full-back has never failed to meet his targets at this level and that makes him a very attractive proposition.

Why he shouldn’t

Newcastle and Brighton had the infrastructure in place to become Premier League clubs, which was why Hughton was willing to make the move.

Millwall, though, are in for a battle just to consolidate at this level and thus the 60-year-old may feel he can do better.

The Lions should not put their financial situation at risk to lure Hughton – fundamentally, they must be self-sustainable.

Verdict

Would be ideal if he wanted to come and the finances were right – but he may not be a realistic candidate.

Gary Rowett

Why he should get the job

Rowett loves being an underdog.

When at Burton Albion and Birmingham, he built competitive teams against the odds by forming a solid spine with good organisation without the ball and quick transitions.

Has the credentials.

Why he shouldn’t

His more successful teams have had a hardworking striker in Stuart Beavon at Burton then Clayton Donaldson at Birmingham, who loved to run the channels.

Millwall’s Matt Smith is a strong target man with aerial prowess but is best-used with deliveries from high up the pitch rather than counter-attacks.

Verdict

Should be a consideration.

Tony Pulis

Why he should get the job

Track record.

Pulis consistently meets his targets as a manager: he did it at Gillingham, at Stoke, at Crystal Palace and at West Brom – even at Middlesbrough, he delivered competitive results with a squad that was not necessarily top-six material once Adama Traore left.

Why he shouldn’t

Millwall fans like direct football, but they do not like defensive football – and there is a clear difference.

Their 2017-18 team was full of intent, with players piling forward to support Steve Morison – and that is the kind of template they want to use.

With Pulis, there is a danger that there will not be enough urgency in Millwall’s play.

Verdict

Although there is plenty of logic in a low-budgeted club appointing a renowned defensive specialist, they have on paper a decent squad and given that over-conservatism was a problem at the tail-end of the Harris era, maybe Pulis is not the solution.

Michael Duff

Why he should get the job

Duff’s recent work with Burnley Under-23s gives him valuable knowledge of the best young talent in the country.

His insight could help Millwall identify saleable assets, which is something they have not been able to do, excluding the sale of George Saville to Middlesbrough in 2018.

Duff also knows the lower league circuit due to his work at Cheltenham Town, where he is thriving as a boss through his tactical adaptability and direct man management.

The former Northern Ireland international  - currently a 33/1 outsider - does not berate his players, but he does tell the truth and perhaps, in an era in which footballers can be molly-coddled at times, Duff’s honesty is refreshing.

Why he shouldn’t

It’s possible that the more ambitious Millwall fans, hoping for a proven manager like Hughton or Rowett, could be slightly underwhelmed by the appointment of somebody who has had 12 good months in League Two.

Verdict

Once Millwall fans get past that possible initial feeling, they could see a manager in Duff that they like.

He’s progressive enough to understand young players and to evolve the style of play, but he is also somebody who does not sugar-coat a situation or defend players if they let their standards drop.

An intriguing outside bet.

Managers Departed

Last man down

Graham Westley
Graham Westley
(Stevenage)
16th February
VIEW ALL CASUALTIES
x
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
P30
JOIN NOW
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
x
Bet £10 Get £10
Exclusive Promo Code
£10CHELT
JOIN NOW
Bonus Code: £10CHELT. 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Atletico Madrid

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Betis

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Liverpool U23s

Next Manager

Manchester City

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Paris St Germain

Next Manager

Sevilla

Next Manager

Southampton

Next Manager

Tottenham Hotspur

Next Manager

LMA

Manager of the Year
x
Deposit £10 Get £60 + 100 Free Spins
New Customers from UK & IRL only. Deposits made with e-wallets are not valid for this promo. Bonus wagering x35 on eligible games. Winnings from bonus capped at  £500. Spins available after bonus is redeemed/lost. Opt in required. Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
BET HERE
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It