Gary Rowett has given his verdict on Millwall’s inconsistent performances – and reckons much of it comes down to the players needing to show “drive and desire”.
The Lions head to Huddersfield Town tomorrow night with one Championship victory in their last 15 matches.
The downturn in form has seen the SE16 outfit drop closer to the relegation zone.
Millwall have had some decent performances during that difficult period – including winning at Bristol City and claiming a 1-1 draw last week at Bournemouth – but also lacklustre and colourless showings against Middlesbrough, Coventry and in Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Forest.
Rowett said: “I can’t sit here and say it’s the players’ fault that they are struggling to find consistency. I’m not saying that. It is my job and my sole responsibility to find a solution and reason for why we can perform well in one game and perform poorly in the next direct game.
“At the moment it boils down to drive and desire, they are the easiest things. When we have played well over the 14-month period I’ve been here we have outworked the opposition. We’ve had more drive and wanted to win more than the opposition. That is the hallmark of any good Millwall team.
“The games we have been losing, we just simply haven’t worked hard enough.
“I don’t think the game changes. If we work incredibly hard and don’t play with quality then we usually end up drawing the game. When we work hard and have moments of quality – produce brilliant moments and are a threat from set-pieces – then we win those games. A lot of the time when we have lost then a fair proportion are when the opposition have had that little more drive and desire – that can certainly be said for Middlesbrough, Coventry and Forest. Those three are the ones which stand out.
“I’ve got to change that and sort it out. I’ve got to find the pieces of the puzzle to make us consistent so that we can go two, three, four or five games putting in the same type of performance.
“I kept faith with the same team that put in a good performance at Bournemouth. When you lose 3-1 it always looks like a horrendous result but there were certain moments in the game – like the first half – because as disappointed as I was it was a moment of quality from one of their forwards, Ameobi, that makes the difference. That’s what we haven’t done at the moment. We haven’t had a forward make that difference in games like that, it’s been a bit of an issue.
“We haven’t stepped up consistently enough and that’s the challenge. Individually I don’t think enough of our players can look at themselves and say they have performed consistently well this season.
“You can look at the Bristol game where we played really well and looked full of energy and running – I picked a very similar team against Coventry and we didn’t perform, the same between Bournemouth and Forest.”
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