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Gary Rowett has key message for his Millwall players ahead of Barnsley clash

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Gary Rowett has told his players to get back to what they do best – being a typical tough Millwall team.

The Lions face Barnsley tomorrow in a battle which could see them slip away from Championship play-off contention – or storm back into the reckoning. Manager Rowett said: “We have to get back to basics. We have the chance to put that right and claw our way back in the race.

“We have always had a reaction when it has been asked for.

“It is very rare for us to lose two games on the spin. Our players have always bounced back.

“We could have beaten Derby and results still meant we were two points off the play-offs. Now we are only three points away and have the chance to get back to what we are good at.

“Where we finish in the table is almost irrelevant now. I just want to see us winning games and see where that means we end up.

“Against Derby, we did not look like ourselves. We did not seem to be where we need to be at.

“That was not what we are about – a tough team to play against, and with some incisive attacking. We need to play with more energy.

Derby County’s Louie Sibley (centre) gets past Millwall’s Ryan Woods (left) and Jake Cooper (right) en route to scoring during the Sky Bet Championship match at The New Den, London.

“All the games behind-closed-doors at the weekend were slow and pedantic. It favours teams that are more technical. But we have to find a way that suits us.”

Barnsley are scrapping for their lives and five points from safety – but managed a 1-0 victory at QPR last Saturday, after Elliot Simoes got an early goal.

Rowett said: “Barnsley had more energy in the first half and then looked like they got more desperate. Any team we face in these last stages is fighting for something. It is up to us to go there and get back to what we’ve been good at.

“We cannot live on what we have done as long ago as March. It is almost a different season, it is so long ago.

“There was a reaction in training on Monday after the Derby defeat. We had more energy and heart. We did have chances to win but you could sense the disappointment.

“It hurt them because they are an honest group.”

Latest figures from the EFL revealed on Tuesday that Millwall are one of only five clubs whose spending on agents was less than seven figures.

Their £571,851 outlay was the fourth lowest – Charlton spent £303,896, tomorrow’s opponents Barnsley £311,935 and Luton spent the least, £298,140.

Rowett said: “That just shows this club has been really well run – which is a credit to chief executive Steve Kavanagh and head of recruitment Alex Aldridge. We have a competitive budget but we have been sensible with it. We do not pay big fees.”

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