BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett says it will be an “absolutely monumental” help if Millwall can get fans back at The Den – and is in no doubt their absence has hampered their results at home.
The Lions have taken 13 points from a possible 30 in SE16 since the Covid-19 pandemic prevented supporters from attending football matches – that equates to 1.3 points-per-game. They had only lost two of their first 12 home games under Rowett – winning five of them – to return a PPG of 1.6.
“If you look at the games now there are very few last-minute moments where the crowd and the pressure makes a team succumb to that,” said Rowett.
“We’re a club that has been synonymous with that intimidation and the fans can make it feel like you’ve got an extra player. We’re not getting that anymore. It really takes something away from every club, but especially one that relied upon that atmosphere.
“I don’t want to sound like it’s just us. But we’re one of the few older, intimidating stadiums – less salubrious surroundings in terms of the dressing room. You mix all that together with the fans and it would add to your points tally.
“Our home form was probably top-six with them there and now it’s mid-table to below that.
“If we get the fans back this season it could be an absolutely monumental boost for us.
“When the no-fans came about I originally said it would favour the more technical teams and that’s how it’s proven.
“It’s probably helped them because if you want to play out from the back and make lots of passes, if you’re doing that badly in front of home fans they are going to start getting a bit edgy. At the moment they don’t have that to deal with.
“You only have to look at a team like Preston, who I’d say have a similar mentality to ourselves, and they’ve lost all five of their home games. That would never, ever happen under Alex Neil with fans there.”
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