Gary Rowett on Ryan Leonard absence and what he expects from his Millwall side against Birmingham


Gary Rowett will be looking for a response from his Millwall side when they host Birmingham City on Wednesday.

The Lions were beaten 1-0 by Wigan Athletic on Saturday, a result that left them seven points off the top six with 12 games to play.

“Yes, it’s not necessarily me being critical of the players it’s me being disappointed,” said Rowett when asked if he expected a response on Wednesday night.

“I can take if we don’t play with composure, I can take if we don’t play with enough quality but what I find it hard to take is when we don’t show that urgency or desperation for me.

“If we are flooding forward, and not  creating much, I can accept that but when we are just standing still waiting for something to happen it’s frustrating. So, I will look for a reaction.”

After Wednesday’s clash with the Blues, the Lions face play-off rivals Bristol City at The Den on Saturday.

“We’ve got two home games coming up, they are the type of games that we have performed really well in previously,” said Rowett.

“That’s the challenge in this division, you see teams up and down the league will win a game and then will lose a game, you get that elation and then that disappointment, you have to show that reaction to bounce back.

“A win in a week, two wins in a week can change a whole outlook on this period of a season. We are at a point now where you can’t afford to drop off for two of three games because your season is over.”

Ryan Leonard missed Saturday’s game at the DW Stadium due to injury, but this was more of a precaution.

“Lenny had a tight hamstring, he’s done well to get back and I felt he’d be a risk,” said Rowett.

“He didn’t feel he’d be fully fit if he had to come on after 20 or 30 minutes today, so we decided to leave him out as a precaution.”

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