Millwall boss doesn’t want to lose defensive stability – but admits goals haven’t flowed easily

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Gary Rowett would love to see Millwall scoring more goals – but doesn’t want that to impact on their ability to keep them out the other end.

Only Swansea (35) have netted fewer times than the Lions (38) out of the clubs in the top half of the Championship table.

Millwall face West Bromwich Albion, who top the table, on Sunday. Then comes Fulham at The Den on Wednesday.

Rowett said: “We’ve scored 24 goals in 17 games – it’s not amazing, it’s alright. We’ve conceded 16, so I’d rather have that balance. Our goal differential is pretty good.

“And we’ve taken a lot of points. I think only Leeds and Brentford have taken more points over that period. So we’re really pleased with that.

“But we’ve had a few games where we’ve maybe not looked creative enough.

“We are the type of team that have to be firing all the time to score goals and win games consistently. That’s our challenge – when we don’t play as well, where do we grind those goals out from?

“We have to maintain those strong set-piece opportunities. We have to maintain those changes from the bench to see if we can make late changes to win us games. But we’re never going to be a completely free-scoring side because then we wouldn’t have as many clean sheets.

“I certainly don’t want to lose the balance of the defensive stability.

“As the season goes on we might have to take that risk – going all-out to win games. But I think we kind of have already, most of the changes we’ve made have been pretty positive.

“There are teams far bigger than us that have lost more games. We want to try and have that underdog mentality for the next two and do what we’ve done a lot – play with too much intensity for teams.

“But we’re against two teams we know can use the ball well, that can take the sting out of that intensity – so we’ve got to get it spot on.

“We’re not the sort of team that is fearful of losing games – we’re too focused on trying to win them and do what we can do. If the worst happens, the worst happens. But we’ll do it giving everything we’ve got and trying to give the fans a little bit of excitement.

“I’m sure the atmospheres are going to be great.”


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