Neil Harris smiled at the suggestion that Pep Guardiola would not fancy a visit to the Den.

It is difficult to imagine that Guardiola and Manchester City would fear drawing anybody in the FA Cup, but Harris pitched it just right when he surmised that, unless Millwall are your club, a trip here is not a priority.

Everton were the latest to find out that Premier League visitors are made particularly unwelcome and the Millwall manager likes it that way. A dramatic stoppage-time winner from Murray Wallace meant that Millwall have now won their past five home FA Cup ties against top-flight opposition.

“I don‘t know if Man City would be that scared of coming here,” he said. “But I don‘t think hoping to get Millwall away is high on the priority list when being drawn out.

“That is how we like it. Let‘s be honest, we have to play on that. I need to stoke up the fans with my pre-match comments and programme notes. But then I need to pick a team that can perform and gives the fans what they want to see, and when we come together in unison that is why teams don‘t want to come here and play.”

Having become the club‘s all-time leading scorer as a player with Millwall and approaching his fourth year as permanent manager, Harris knows how to smell apprehension in visitors.

Atmosphere

“We do our homework and we read the press, and we read the comments,” he said. “If managers say ‘we have to stand up to Millwall, we know it will be a tough atmosphere‘, that is great. They are doing their homework and they know what it will be like.”

Harris is well aware of the importance of the fans. “I knew the atmosphere would be like that (on Saturday). The 5.30pm kick-off could not have been any better for us. I think it is important to this competition that you have managers like me and fanbases like this. We can cause an upset.”

Everton manager Marco Silva was angry that the video assistant referee cannot be used at Football League grounds, which meant Jake Cooper‘s handled goal was not disallowed. Millwall‘s very own Maradona levelled after Cenk Tosun had put Everton ahead for the second time. Richarlison had got a fortunate first that was cancelled out by Lee Gregory.

Silva‘s team have won only three of their last 12 games, losing seven of them, and Everton‘s season is in danger of imploding. “We have to show more character,” said Silva. “In bad moments, you see how many big characters you have, how many big personalities you have.”

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© Daily Telegraph, London

Telegraph

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