Millwall boss Neil Harris got the response he wanted to his half-time team talk as the Lions scored three second-half goals at Ipswich to round off a successful festive period.
Harris’ men trailed to Jack Lankester’s strike at the interval before goals from Shane Ferguson, Jake Cooper and Tom Elliott in a 16-minute spell helped the visitors to a 3-2 victory.
It earned Millwall a third straight victory and moved them six points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.
But afterwards manager Harris revealed his frustration with his side’s start to the game and the late Kayden Jackson goal that created a nervy finish.
“It was a horrendous first half from us and I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t acceptable,” said Harris.
“I don’t think I’ve ever made a sub in the first half, unless it’s forced on me by an injury or a red card, but that was the closest I’ve come to doing it.
“I had a few choice words at half-time for the group and I questioned how much they wanted it, and they responded second half. The goals weren’t that great but we scored more than Ipswich and that’s all that matters.
“We should have seen the game out at 3-1 – we weren’t really under any threat – but the best goal of the game gets them back in it and it was a nervy end for us.”
Harris praised captain Steve Morison, who was brought on for the second half.
The Millwall boss added: “Steve was extremely disappointed that he didn’t score the other day against Nottingham Forest when he missed an open goal from six yards and hit the post.
“He was really down about it and I spoke to him this morning. I reminded him about his importance to us and that it’s not all about scoring goals.
“I thought he put in a real captain’s display when he came on. After a first half when we lacked leaders he made a huge difference.”