Millwall boss Gary Rowett gives verdict on former club Birmingham City’s form – has praise for Pep Clotet

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall manager Gary Rowett comes up against his former club Birmingham City on Wednesday night – and has praised the job being done by Pep Clotet.

The Blues are unbeaten in 11 matches as they head to The Den.

And Rowett, who had a successful spell in charge of the Midlands club, reckons they have reaped the rewards of a change of tactical approach.

“They had a spell at the start of the season where they were trying to play a very, very fluid style and when results didn’t come they went back to what they did last season – 4-4-2 and dropping into a very compact shape. They have gone back to a counter-attacking style.

“They have been really good in this last period. They have got good players who know the Championship and [Jude] Bellingham is a young player who gives that vibrancy to the team.

“Pep Clotet has done a really good job of stabilising it and I’m sure they are hoping to kick on from here on. It is down to use to do what we have done more often than not at home – and that’s to turn the form book around and make it a difficult game for any team.”

Millwall are seven points behind sixth-placed Preston after Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Wigan.

“I’ve spoken about it publicly and internally – it’s up to us how we finish those last 12 games,” said Rowett. “We have three home games in our next four. We’ve had to work incredibly hard away from home to set this position up in the league.

“We’ve had difficult away games where we’ve had to grind things out and it’s up to us now to try and take advantage.

“But the Championship, as you’ve seen, means you can turn up at home and if you don’t perform then you lose. That’s no different to away from home.

“Because the fans have been so good for us and the atmosphere is so good at The Den it lifts the players and they have that little extra spark that you need to win games.

“The pressure is not really on us. It’s up to us to go and perform, play with a little bit of freedom and create in these games.”


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