FORMER Southend United striker Neil Harris has been a big influence during the early stages of Danny Scopes’ stint in charge of Concord Rangers.

Harris, who is in the hotseat at Championship side Millwall, has known Scopes for a number of years.

Scopes was installed as Sammy Moore’s successor at the Aspect Arena last month and he admits Harris was one of the first people to message him after getting the top job.

“Neil was among the first people to congratulate me when I was appointed as Concord’s new manager,” said Scopes.

“One of the first things he said to me was that he would bring his Millwall first team down for a friendly in pre-season.

“That’s fantastic for us and it is great that he will be bringing Millwall to the Aspect Arena.

“He has been a great person to listen to, giving advice, and he has been excellent with me.”

Harris, who is based in Eastwood, finished his playing career with Blues.

And, having steered Millwall to Championship safety last term, Harris is preparing for a third consecutive campaign in the second tier of English football.

The Lions will visit the Aspect Arena to take on Scopes’ National League South Concord side on July 6.

And Scopes is pleased to have the support of Harris.

“I have known Neil for a long time,” added Scopes.

“I was at Great Wakering Rovers when he came through the reserves there and he lives five minutes down the road from me now.

“His son, Cameron, is also with us at Concord and Neil has been fantastic since I got the job.”

Harris, along with first team coach Adam Barrett, is also set to make a return to Roots Hall this summer.

Millwall will face Kevin Bond’s Shrimpers in a pre-season friendly on July 24.