There was an outpouring of appreciation from Millwall fans for Neil Harris after the former boss spoke about his time with The Den outfit.

Harris who stepped down as manager of the Lions a day after their 1-1 draw with Luton on October 3rd, opened up on the reasons why he felt the time was right to say goodbye to the club.

Having made 376 appearances for the Lions over two spells with the club, the now 42-year-old went on manage the club in 2015, leading them to promotion to the Championship in 2017.

With his legendary status already assured in South Bermondsey his departure took everyone by surprise.

“It was just the right time,” Harris told talkSPORT.

“First and foremost, I had a fantastic time at Millwall.

“But after four and a half years as a manager and 12-years as a player, the time was right.

“I think the club needed a change, maybe I needed a change, maybe the sparkle had gone from me managing the club.

“You get to a stage where it wasn’t a case of I felt I took the team as far as I could, I just felt the time was right for a change for me and my family.

“We are a club moving forward, it’s in a fantastic place structure wise, the players, the board, it’s a stable club, but it’s a club that everybody needs to be at the top of their game to compete at Championship level, and I think I maybe dropped to 95% which wasn’t enough for me.”

“Four and a half years is a long time in management, there’s a lot of stresses on the way, a change was needed.”

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Harris spoke of how he made the decision moments after the midweek draw at Kenilworth Road and how he immediately went about telling the Lions hierarchy his decision and how they reluctantly accepted his wish.

“I informed the board on Thursday morning over a coffee, they weren’t prepared, didn’t welcome it, but understood.

“The board were happy with me, they and players tried to talk me out of going, but I knew the time was right.

“After a long time as a player, a coach, a manager, I care very deeply for the club and the fan base and thought we needed a change.

“I think I was in a good position to know what was right for the cub.”

With nearly a month passed since he stepped down, Harris has enjoyed his time out of the spotlight but joked his family may not be so pleased and that his ‘time=off’ may not last long.

“It’s been four weeks now since I’ve not worked.

“It’s been nice in a way, to recuperate and spend time with my wife and two kids.

“But telling her I was coming here (the studio) today and then somewhere else after, she was pleased to get me out the house.

“I’ve enjoyed my time away, but I’m ready to go again.”

His Successor...

Gary Rowett was appointed Harris’s successor last Thursday and the new manager oversaw his side register a 2-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend.

“Gary was a great appointment,” Harris continued.

“I really like him, I did my coaching badges with him.

“He’s a very sound guy, good experience.

“He’s asked my opinions about certain things.

“I think he’s a strong appointment.”

Harris’s stint speaking with Jim White and Natalie Sawyer caused an outpouring of support, gratitude and appreciation for the former Millwall manager.