MillwallSport

Millwall caretaker boss Adam Barrett unhappy with key refereeing calls in 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers

Millwall’s wretched record against Blackburn Rovers continued on Tuesday night as they lost 2-1 at The Den.

The Lions have now won just one of their last 16 league meetings with tonight’s opposition – losing 10 of them.

Millwall’s record at The Den in 2023 also took a hit with an eighth Championship reverse with only 2015 the last time they suffered more (11).

The Lions were gifted an early opening goal when Blackburn keeper Leopold Wahlstedt was unable to prevent a Wes Harding header squirming out of his hands and over the goal-line. It was the summer signing from Rotherham’s first goal for the club.

But Blackburn’s 22nd-minute leveller was equally as soft. Some neat interplay down the right presented Joe Rankin-Costello with a shooting chance which Bart Bialkowski will probably feel he should have dealt with far better. There was a delayed celebration from the travelling support as they realised their number 11’s attempt had managed to beat Millwall’s stopper.

Bialkowski made vital second-half saves to deny substitute Andrew Moran and also a one-handed stop from the dangerous Sammie Szmodics, the ball then coming back off the crossbar.

But before that Blackburn had taken the lead with a spectacular finish from right-back Callum Brittain.

Harding was close to a second goal but on the slide the centre-back could not meet Tom Bradshaw’s header from a George Honeyman corner.

Millwall had plenty of pressure but were unable to find a leveller, racking up 16 goal attempts – three on target.

Caretaker manager Adam Barrett said: “I thought we did enough second half, where it was all us. I wasn’t happy with the defending and build up in the build up to their first goal.

“I’m not here to make excuses but I’ve seen it back and the first goal is offside. The linesman is right there – I can’t believe how he can’t see that. Little key moments didn’t go our way. We had a big shout for a penalty with Tom Bradshaw that doesn’t go our way. I’ll have to see the penalty again, but everyone is saying it is a penalty

“The second half was much better. I wanted the players to quickly. In the first half at times we just looked a little bit edgy.

“For their second goal Joe (Bryan) takes the free-kick and goes down with a groin injury. They broke down that side, where he would’ve been.

“The lads showed effort and keep pushing. We have got to be more ruthless in both boxes.”

Bialkowski could potentially have been deceived for the first goal with Rankin-Costello’s shot coming through the legs of Harding.

“I haven’t seen it again in detail but it just looked a very soft goal from our point of view,” said Barrett.

 

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