BY ALEX GRACE
Gary Rowett was unhappy with the defensive performance of his Millwall side after Derby won 3-2 at The Den as Championship football returned at The Den.
The game was played behind closed doors and Rowett felt that his side missed the atmosphere that the home fans would normally produce.
Matt Smith had given Millwall the lead after 15 minutes but after that the game became the Louie Sibley show. The 18-year-old, making his second Championship start, scored a hat-trick.
“It’s difficult because we all knew coming into these games we’d have to try to learn very quickly,” said Rowett. “I knew it was going to feel strange, we’re obviously a team that thrives off the energy of the crowd at certain moments of the game.We found it hard when the game fell flat. Derby navigated that better than us with their technical players and their slow build-up play.
“We started very well, we scored a very good goal. It was good play, we broke well after pinching it in midfield and showed composure to put a good ball in for Matt Smith. After that we conceded two very, very poor goals. They were well taken by Sibley, I’m sure Derby were delighted with them.
“But they were very soft and defensively we just looked a little bit passive, we didn’t quite move our feet very well and get around the ball. We switched off but everyone’s learning. Nevertheless we created a lot of opportunities, we had around four one-on-ones.
After all of the 3pm kick offs there was only one home win, that follows what has happened in Germany with a swing of results in the away teams favour.
“We’ve seen a massive swing in results in favour of away teams. Whether that’s the home team not having the significant advantage of your own fans, psychologically maybe that’s a problem.
“For us it’s a huge thing, of course. If you go and press you get the crowd behind you and a little bit of momentum. Of course that’s not there.
“From what I’ve seen in the first few games perhaps the more technical teams find it easier, they’ve got the ball a lot more so don’t necessarily need the tempo of the game to help them.”
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