Millwall boss gives his breakdown on 1-0 loss to Coventry – and admirers front play of matchwinner Gyokeres

Millwall manager Gary Rowett was left admiring the forward play of Viktor Gyokeres as his superb second-half strike earned Coventry City a 1-0 win tonight.

The frontman had gone close on a couple of occasions in the first period but broke the deadlock in the Midlands in the 67th minute, shifting the ball inside of Charlie Cresswell and producing a low finish from the edge of the box past George Long.

It was enough to end the Lions’ three-game unbeaten streak and the result dropped them to seventh in the Championship table.

“You have to do certain things when you come away from home, like we’ve done at Cardiff and Watford. We defended really well and then showed a little bit of composure when we’ve needed it with the ball.

“Coventry looked like a team who really had the edge about them at the start. They did what we’ve done to so many teams at The Den. They were full of running and a little more desperate to start the game well. Sometimes you have to accept that.

“It took us a while to get into the game and when we did, we moved the ball side to side to our full-backs – which was the obvious outball – and then just kept going backwards or sideways. It felt a little like we were being a little too safe.

“Against a team like Coventry with Gyokeres up front, what you can’t do is give balls away and leave him space against defenders because he is very, very good at utilising that space. At times tonight in those transitions he looked an immense threat. Did we not deal with him well enough or is he just a really good player that a lot of teams are going to struggle to deal with? I don’t know.

“If you want to keep a clean sheet and get something out of the game then you have got to go and keep him quiet. He looked a handful all night. The goal is probably testament to that – he brings it down, turns one way, wriggles back inside and hits it from 30 yards. The ball just goes around Coops and unsights Longy a little bit. It’s a great finish and you have to applaud that piece of skill.

“But it was poor from us to allow him to do it.

“He did the same against us last season. I think he’s done the same against us every time. He’s just a real handful, he makes things happen on his own. Sometimes in this division that is priceless, because there are tight games and ones where the quality is not as high as the Premier League quality and that’s where one bit of skill [can make the difference]. We’ve had it with Zian, where he pulls a moment of genius out and it wins you the game.

“He did that for Coventry tonight. It’s a wonderful goal.”

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