Millwall’s poor record at The Den took another hit as they lost to promotion-chasing Southampton today – with Ryan Fraser scoring a late clincher.
It was Millwall’s fifth league loss at The Den this season – only QPR have been defeated as many times on home turf in the Championship.
The Lions had Bart Bialkowski to thank for a steady stream of saves to keep out the visitors, who predictably dominated the ball.
But just as the finish line came into sight, Southampton found a winner in the third minute of second half stoppage time.
Adam Armstrong cut the ball back from the byline and Saints substitute Fraser’s low finish evaded Bialkowski.
Millwall look set to announce their new manager next week and this looks set to be the sign-off for caretaker Adam Barrett, who has seen stoppage-time goals in successive matches cost them four points after last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Watford.
Barrett said: “I was very pleased with the first half and for about 60 minutes we got into some good areas and had decent opportunities. You know with the quality of players that they have got, and the way they play, that at times they are going to wear you down a little bit – it was very, very frustrating at the end there.”
“If you switch off for one moment against these top teams, they are going to punish you. They keep working on you, they keep probing and it’s just a real sickener there at the end to concede, like I said, so late again.
“I have not been able to watch it (the goal) back again yet. We spoke about the way they play – they move, they like the little inside channel runs and I just don’t think we’ve dealt with it. I don’t know what happened. A shot got blocked and then it fell straight back into his path again and they punished us, so I’m disappointed with that. That’s two games we should be coming away with four points and we are coming away with one.
“The effort is there, you can see that. I think the team is really working hard, they put a good shift in but we have to be able to maintain that for longer in games.”
Asked about Millwall’s home record, Barrett added: “It’s been really disappointing. It’s something we’ve got to improve on. Today there was lots of good stuff against one of the better sides in the league, without a doubt.
“We hit the bar in the first half and the atmosphere was great. The fans were with the players all game but of course we’ve got to get the Den back to being a real difficult place to come. We have to keep working hard, keep believing, keep working and keep trying to push forward and improve.
“There was lots of good stuff. We tried to come out and start the second half well, which is what we did do. It’s just hard maintaining it against these top teams. If you start jumping out trying to press and you get it wrong then they start opening you up and the game swung a bit.
“They have dangerous players when it does that and then they bring on the subs and the impact they have – they put the foot down a little bit. It’s difficult – they have the quality players.
“When you get your chances in the game you have to take them. We had decent opportunities and got into decent areas where I’d expect us to try and hurt them a bit more than what we did – but it just didn’t quite happen for us today.”
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