BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett has watched Millwall’s 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough back twice – and was set to go over some of the key problems with his players today.
The Lions chief admits that quite a bit of his Sunday was taken up highlighting issues from the reverse on Teesside and also beginning to plot and plan for their midweek trip to Bristol City.
Millwall have not won in 10 Championship matches.
Rowett said: “Defeats are always hard to take. I know lots of people will say the same thing, but I’m not a good loser.
“It’s not necessarily that I’ll go home and be miserable with the wife and kids – I’m always miserable! It’s more that you can’t stop thinking about it.
“We drove home after the game and I watched it back on the way back home. I got up on Sunday morning and watched the game back again and highlighted timing of clips that we potentially need to show the players and then you get into Sunday lunchtime, essentially on your day off, and you’ve got to start thinking about Bristol because you’ve got to go in Monday morning and be clear on what you need to do.
“It is a challenge because of the frequency of games. When you’re in a run of results that are not what you want, you also want to make sure you do everything to the maximum – to give yourself the best chance of getting that win that I’m sure would change things massively.
“Unfortunately your Sunday off becomes a work day where you’re sat at home and everything is going on around you. You’re at least there but not really in spirit. That’s the life of a manager.
“Because you’re Saturday-Tuesday for seven or eight games it’s really hard to get out of that cycle. I’ll always go in Monday and try and be positive. I’ll go in determined to fight through any issues and see if we can come up with a solution.
“That’s what I’ve always done. I’m not one to feel sorry for myself. I feel more sorry for the fans and the club, because I think we deserve a little more than we’re getting at the moment. But at the same time we have to be responsible for the run of form that we’ve had.”
Rowett says that the fixture schedule disrupts some of the way he would normally approach a game if there was a seven-day gap.
“If you were Saturday to Saturday you could come in on the Monday, talk about the game and put it to bed. And then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday you can work out what you’re going to do about it.
“The challenge at the moment is that you come in on the Monday and you’re almost semi-recovering as well as preparing for the next game. You’re then getting on a coach to travel all the way to Bristol.
“But at the same time I’m not a big fan of just moving past the poor performance and not saying anything about it. The challenge is always how much you dig back into it? Sometimes you have to show it to the players on a Monday morning, they have to accept that you’re doing it to accept and understand why we lost the game – and lost the game so poorly.
“It’s a fine line because every manager is saying the same – you can’t really do too much work on the training ground, so therefore a lot is done in the meeting room, whether that is analysing the previous game or what we need to do in the next one.
“But sometimes you need that closure and the only way to get it is to show the bits that weren’t really acceptable.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.