‘Little bit of game management at right times will help’ – Former Millwall boss Rowett on his old side’s 2-1 loss at Coventry City

Gary Rowett is confident that Millwall can avoid being dragged into the Championship relegation fight provided they “add that little bit of game management”.

The Lions led in Sunday’s Championship encounter at Coventry City through Romain Esse’s first-half goal.

But Japhet Tanganga’s foul on Haji Wright allowed the big-money summer signing to level from the penalty spot.

Then minutes later Callum O’Hare’s driving run was not met with enough resistance – or even a tactical foul – as he cued up Wright to slot past Matija Sarkic.

Millwall are 18th in the table but have lost 24 points from winning positions in matches in the current campaign.

Rowett, who stepped down as manager in October and was replaced by head coach Joe Edwards, was on punditry duty for Sky Sports for his former club’s meeting with the Sky Blues

“Yeah and I think that will be the worrying thing as the season starts to get to a really important stage,” said Rowett, when asked about the leads that have been lost.

“If you look at today it was probably a classic (example) – they have shown some really good signs. They started really, really well and pressed intelligently and used the ball really well.

“The challenge they have got at the moment is they have struggled to do it for long enough periods and win games.

“If they can just add that little bit of game management at the right times (it will help). The second (Coventry) goal was a classic example. I think they will have enough not to get dragged in but, at this moment in time, it was another game that was there for them and they have come away with nothing.

“That will be incredibly frustrating for everyone at the club.”

Asked about Coventry’s penalty, Rowett said: “As a former defender I can understand why it is given. Tanganga just steps across Haji Wright but because Wright takes a touch and he is in a position he could potentially score I think that is the challenge.

“He doesn’t actually kick or foul Wright essentially, but he obstructs him from getting that shot off. It is probably just about enough to give the penalty.

“It’s a high press from a set-play with the goalkeeper (for the second goal) and you’ve got to push one of your centre-halves in on O’Hare if you’re going to go man to man at the top end of the pitch.

“I think it’s Jake Cooper who makes the decision to step in, gets done by good feet and all of a sudden….when you highlight that now is Honeyman recognising it is not really his job and that it’s one of the centre-halves who should step in and deal with O’Hare. In the end they end up having to do that at the last minute, which just isolates it.”

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