Millwall manager Gary Rowett gives assessment on Cardiff City test – as Neil Harris heads back to The Den

Millwall manager Gary Rowett is happy to head into Saturday’s meeting with Cardiff City after a two-week break.

Former Lions boss Neil Harris returns to The Den for the first time since he quit in October 2019.

The Lions have lost just one of their last seven Championship fixtures – that reverse coming the last time they were in SE16.

Rowett said: “I’m glad to be going into it [the Cardiff match] off the back of a little bit of a breather. It allows us the chance to at least feel fresh.

“It’s going to be a challenge for the players, just because Cardiff are a good side and it’s Neil and Livers [David Livermore] coming back – their old management team. There’s always that strangeness to it.

“Cardiff are good at what they do. They are trying to play a little bit more but they also have an obvious physical threat that you’ve got to try and deal with.

“They’ve got players like [Harry] Wilson and [Marlon] Pack in there, technical players who move the ball well. It’s a balanced team, like we are.

“We need to start delivering more wins at home and this is the first one of a group of games which are a tough run. We’ve got a tough-looking run of fixtures over the next period. But the Championship is like that anyway. You’ve got to do your best and try and win it.

“I know Cardiff have maybe not started quite as well as they’d like but that is the same for many teams in the division.”

The Welsh side landed a play-off spot on the final day of last season but lost over two legs to Fulham in the semi-finals.

They have taken six points from a possible 18 and are 15th in the table – four points behind Millwall.

Rowett said: “They did really well to get into it [the play-offs]. They were in a similar position to ourselves prior to lockdown. Their results in the last nine games were really good which got them into the play-offs in the first place.

“Fulham proved to be the best team in the play-offs, in terms of their performances. I’ve lost myself to Fulham in the play-off semi-final, so I know the challenge you have. They dominate the ball and make it really frustrating for you to get it back and that’s when you tend to lose your shape.

“I’m sure they’ll use that disappointment to go one better this year.”

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