Millwall boss Gary Rowett: I have to be ultra-critical after high standards the team has set

Gary Rowett has broken down the goal that Millwall conceded in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City – and admits the high defensive standards set mean he is “ultra-critical” of his side.

The Lions were looking comfortable at The Den until Scott Malone’s misdirected pass was snaffled up by Josh Murphy – Kieffer Moore racing through to beat Bart Bialkowski.

It was only the ninth goal conceded by Millwall this season with only Middlesbrough (six), Swansea (seven) and Norwich (eight) boasting a better record.

The Lions made it three draws on the spin before tomorrow’s Den encounter against a Reading side who have dropped away from the top of the table after four successive losses.

Rowett said: “Like with most goals, a number of mistakes happen leading up to them.

“Scotty has been one of our best players this season, he’s been excellent, but he selects the wrong pass – whether he had a call or not.

“But what you’re hoping is that a team-mate gets you out of the mire.

“One ball splits our two centre-halves. I’m being ultra-critical, because it’s what you have to be to get better and improve. Every goal you concede – as a manager, coach or whoever you are in football – you can pick things that people needed to do better. Otherwise every game would be perfection and you’d never concede a goal.

“We’ve been brilliant defensively and I’m pretty sure Hutch and Coops will be a little bit disappointed they’ve allowed Moore to run between and win the race to get their first.

“Coops recovers but by recovering he gets a little deflection which takes it the other side of Bart. It’s a disappointing goal from start to finish and at a moment, because we missed two chances, where we have to be perfect. We have to keep a clean sheet to win the game and that’s probably a little unrealistic at times because people are going to make mistakes.

“We’d just changed to a back five and looked like we had a bit more balance and depth to our defending. It wasn’t a scenario where we were cut open, which is part of football. It was a mistake and then one really good pass – the rest was history.

“But I’d say it was probably a fair result for the game.”


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