“Not good enough” – Millwall midfielder gives verdict on first-half performance against Barnsley

BY DANIEL MARSH

Ryan Leonard admitted that Millwall “didn’t play well enough” in the first half of their 1-1 draw with Barnsley at the weekend.

The Lions reverted to a back five after notching consecutive wins with a 4-2-3-1 formation earlier in the week.

Assistant manager Adam Barrett explained some of the reasons behind the switch after the match, but Millwall were slow out of the blocks and looked as though they would be heading into the break behind after an Alex Mowatt stunner. Fortunately, Jake Cooper nodded home a Connor Mahoney corner right on the stroke of the interval.

But both Barrett and Lions midfielder Leonard conceded that the first-half display was disappointing.

“First half we didn’t play well enough,” said Leonard.

“We did better in the second half but the first half was disappointing. We said that at half-time, we were nowhere near good enough to the standard that we’ve set. Second half, we came out and gave it a really good go. The keeper’s made a couple of great saves and we’ve created a few chances but it’s a disappointing afternoon. It’s been a good week for us, [getting] seven points in a week. But [we’re] a little bit disappointed at the end of the game really.”

Millwall manager Gary Rowett was missing from the dugout with Covid-19 after returning a positive test on Friday. But Leonard denied that had any negative effect on the team’s preparations or their performance on the day.

The Lions midfielder said: “I don’t think it affected us [really]. We tried to keep it as normal as possible. Obviously the gaffer took the team talk before the game on like a zoom thing, but it didn’t really affect us too much.

“We know the standards we’ve set ourselves and it was one of them where whether the gaffer was there in person or not we try to keep it as normal as possible. That’s [Rowett’s absence] nothing to do with the first-half performance, that’s us as players not performing to the standards we’ve set. We did better in the second half but the first half was disappointing.”


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