Millwall manager Gary Rowett has explained why he started Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Stoke City.
The Icelandic international was selected in a front three with Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett but it was an afternoon when none of the attackers on show in either side made a major impact.
Matt Smith, who scored in the EFL Cup win over Crawley the previous weekend, replaced Bodvarsson in the 64th minute.
Tom Bradshaw was an unused substitute. The former Barnsley forward has not scored since the 3-0 victory over Newport County in the FA Cup in January – that was his 10th goal of the 2019-20 campaign but he has not netted in his following 21 outings.
“Jon Dadi finished the season quite brightly and Smudge always gives me a real challenge – he always looks dangerous and is undoubtedly our in-form striker but there have been games that require a more naturally mobile striker,” said Rowett. “Then it’s between Jon Dadi and Bradders.
“Bradders got the nod last season but I just felt he had gone through a period without scoring and I just felt Jon Dadi deserved the opportunity.
“That is no fault on Bradders. We all know what he can do and when one drops and he scores a goal he’ll go on a run of form again.
“When Jon Dadi and Connor [Mahoney] come in for a start we’ve got to be careful we don’t just judge on one start – it’s quite unfair to expect too much in a difficult game.
“He worked hard, held the ball up well at times but as a team we didn’t have enough quality and control in the forward areas to really see what the forwards could do. It was a difficult game for them and a tough game all round.
“I don’t tend to soft soap games, as you know. I didn’t think we were good but a lot of that is down to the opposition. I think a lot of teams will come and drop in and make it hard for us. We’ll have to try and show a little more finesse and quality to break down those type of teams.”
PICTURES: BRIAN TONKS
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