Lack of attacking options had put extra pressure on Millwall defence


Gary Rowett admitted that not having his attacking options available to him has put more pressure on the Millwall defence.

Today’s 1-0 success at Barnsley was just the the Lions’ third clean sheet of the season but crucially their second in a week after Wednesday’s success by the same scoreline over Bristol City.

Rowett said: “Leaky for us is conceding more than one goal a game really, because we’ve been pretty solid and organised. That’s part of what we’re about, part of that formation – the 5-2-3. If you’re not solid then there’s no point having that extra defender on the pitch.

“The difference today was just having the options available to us. We haven’t had Jed available for a little while, we haven’t had Sheyi available for a little while, we haven’t had Benik available for a little while. I didn’t think those players were quite at their maximum today but still in moments those little bits of interplay and pace caused problems.

“Barnsley play a very high line and most teams try to do the same against them, you’re looking for that extra pass to exploit the space in behind. If you get it right, Jed gets in there twice but couldn’t quite get the touch to take it away from the defenders. It’s all about those moments and we did it quite well and created some chances but I’d like to see us create a little bit more.”

Taking chances has been a problem for Millwall in recent seasons and has stopped them from taking that last step to challenge for the top six.

“If you look at our last two seasons, we’ve finished eighth and 11th and now we’re sat in or around mid-table,” said Rowett. “It’s been the same thing, can we just find that little bit of extra quality to turn us from a hard-working team, a hard to beat team into a team that can win lots of games of football when they’re quite tight?

“There’s different ways to do that but certainly having more players available – like I said, that front three and the likes of Mason Bennett haven’t been available for a little while, Scottie Malone wasn’t available today.We looked relatively comfortable today – Barnsley had some moments, a few shots from distance but I they didn’t create that many chances apart from the one first half so as an away performance we’ve got to be quite pleased but we’ve got to take some of those opportunities.

“Early on with Murray Wallace, we should be 1-0 up and we have to leave it until the last few minutes to see if we can score a corner and thankfully we did.”

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