BY DANIEL MARSH
Gary Rowett defended Bartosz Bialkowski after the Polish stopper’s error in Millwall’s 2-1 triumph at Wycombe.
Bialkowski tried to outsmart Scott Kashket with the ball at his feet inside his own six-yard box, but the Wanderers forward was alert enough to block the Lions keeper off and scramble home for the hosts’ first goal in the Championship.
But Rowett refused to criticise his keeper. Millwall turned the game around through goals from Jed Wallace and Ryan Leonard, with Bialkowski playing his part with a superb save in the second half to help preserve Millwall’s 2-1 advantage .
“I don’t think you really need to say too much,” said the Lions boss when he was asked what was said at the interval.
“If you’re the goalkeeper, then you know you shouldn’t get caught on the ball. What I would say is last season I could count five or six games where he’s won us the game single-handedly. He makes a fabulous save second half in a goalmouth melee.
“It’s part of the process of being a goalkeeper unfortunately. If you make one error and you get caught, it’s a goal against [you]. If you’re a striker and you miss five chances, no-one really points the finger at you too much. When you choose to put those gloves on you accept that’s the way the game is.
“I’ve said to him afterwards, he’s saved us on enough occasions. We have to accept he’s human, he’s going to make mistakes. He’s got plenty of credit in the bank, but hopefully it doesn’t happen too many more times!”
Rowett was asked if it was his intention for the team to play out regularly from the back, with the modern game placing greater demands on goalkeeper’s abilities with the ball at their feet.
“I don’t think we want to be a team that plays out from the back all the time. But in certain games, sometimes you get those moments where you have to try and gain some control. I think if you keep going long all the time and it’s a scrappy game of second [balls] then you can’t make the difference technically with your team.
“I thought we did it in the second half and got into better positions. But that’s where you run the risk, sometimes you can be punished.”
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