‘It feels like we’re just starting’ – Gary Rowett on hitting century of games as Millwall boss

Gary Rowett feels as though he is still “just starting” as Millwall manager despite clocking up 100 matches in charge last weekend.

The experienced boss will have been in the Den job for two years on October 21.

But a big chunk of his reign has been with Millwall playing behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Because of that situation it feels as though it has been a lot less than two years and it feels like a lot less than 100 games,” said Rowett, who has amassed 430 matches in the dugout since 2012.

“As a Championship manager I’m aware that to get longevity at any club is a massive challenge. There is that thirst in modern day football for success. So to get to 100 games at a club like Millwall is a proud moment and shows a relative amount of success in what we’re trying to do.

“It feels a little bit like we’re just starting and that is a good thing – because two years in a job, with all sorts of challenges, can feel a lot longer than two years. It is testament to how the club is run and how well John [Berylson, owner] deals with managers.

“I’ve never been one to champion personal goals. It’s always just about winning games in the Championship – you can never really relax, sit back and think ‘that’s great’. It is on to the next 100 and how can we beat Luton?

“It has been a good two years. I’ve loved every minute.”

Rowett’s longest managerial spell was his first job, 135 games at Burton Albion. Another seven fixtures at the helm in SE16 will see him surpass his stint with Birmingham.

The former Charlton and Leicester centre-back, 47, succeeded Neil Harris, who had more than four and a half years as Lions chief.

“When the job got offered to me at Millwall I’d have been stupid not to think I’ll have a chance of some longevity because of the way John has worked previously – he has not been gung-ho to sack managers if results have not been good,” said Rowett. “He’s had an element of patience.

“That’s the hope. But you’ve still got to win games, do well and get points and make sure – at the very least – you’re competing in the Championship to keep your job for longer.

“My biggest challenge is being away from my family [in Derbyshire]. It was always one I was never sure how long that would last. But actually it has worked out really well.

“My family love London and my oldest son lives with me, because he works in London. Things have fallen into place quite nicely.

“There is a real chance to build something here, which I’ve always wanted to do. Let’s see how it goes. I’m mindful that this is the Championship – you can lose the next seven and be out. It keeps you on your toes.”

Rowett is expecting Scott Malone to be fit for the home clash with Luton next weekend.

“He’s just got a minor quad injury so it was probably the right call to leave him out of the last game,” said Rowett. “Hopefully he’ll be able to train at the start of next week, or midway through.”

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