Millwall’s 2016/17 season
League Position: 6th in Sky Bet League One – won Play-Offs (2015/16: 4th in League One – lost Play-Off Final)
Average league attendance: 8,723 (2015/16: 9,108)
Top league goalscorer: Lee Gregory (17)
Millwall started the 2016/17 season as one of the favourites from promotion from League One, and completed the job at Wembley in the Play-Off Final. The Lions had been relegated from the Championship in 2015 and almost made it straight back up. They finished fourth in 2015/16 and lost to Barnsley in the Play-Off Final but were determined to go one better last term.
The season did not start well and they were 20th in mid-October having won just four of their first 13 games. But they started to climb the table, were in the top half by Christmas and a 16-match unbeaten run took them in to the Play-Off places. There was a tricky run-in to contend with but a 4-3 win at Bristol Rovers on the final day of the campaign secured a Play-Off spot. Millwall then won 3-2 away to Scunthorpe United in the Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg to reach Wembley and a Steve Morison goal proved the difference in the final.
The Lions have spent much of the last 25 years moving up and down between the second and third tiers. Relegation in 2015 ended a five-year stay and they also spent five years at that level at the start of the century, when they also reached the FA Cup Final. Last season also saw Millwall reach the FA Cup Sixth Round, where they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur after knocking out AFC Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City.
Neil Harris is Millwall’s record goalscorer and is now in to his third full season as their manager. The 39-year-old spent ten years at The Den in two spells. He scored 138 goals in all competitions, beating the previous record held by Teddy Sheringham. Harris also battled and beat testicular cancer during a playing career that took him to Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest and Gillingham but was mostly spent at Millwall.
Harris had a spell as caretaker boss in the 2013/14 season before Ian Holloway took charge and worked with the Under-21 side at The Den after his playing career ended. When Holloway left, Harris took over again but couldn’t keep Millwall in the second tier. He was given the job permanently in the summer of 2015 and in two full seasons has led The Lions to the Play-Off Final and then promotion.
Last Time Round
Head to Head
Brentford wins: 22
Millwall wins: 20