MillwallSport

Stoke City loanee had best game since Millwall return as he bagged winner against Reading

Benik Afobe produced his best performance since rejoining Millwall on loan in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Reading.

That’s the verdict of Lions manager Gary Rowett, who opted to be reunited with the Stoke City striker this summer.

Afobe finished from close-range to make it three goals in 12 Championship outings for the South Londoners.

The 28-year-old had not netted since converting in back-to-back matches at the end of August.

It followed on from Tom Bradshaw also finishing two chances inside the penalty area in the 2-1 victory against Stoke in the previous home match at The Den.

“They all came from good wing-play, interplay and passes to get the ball into those wide positions,” Rowett told the South London Press. “Like any good striker, it is the same with Bradders, you want them to put themselves in good goalscoring positions.

“Our strikers have to work incredibly hard. We’re never a side where the strikers can stand down the middle and wait for the chances to come along, we’re not that type of team. You don’t want that work to take them too far away from scoring positions.

“Benik got himself into good positions when the ball was wide, great play from Jed and Lenny. As soon as that defender gets drawn out you know, as a striker, it is down to that final pass.

“It capped off a really good display from Benik. That is as well as he has played for us – the hunger, drive, energy and hold-up play. He was excellent. He deserved a goal.”

Millwall are only a point behind fifth-placed QPR with only four points separating Coventry, in fourth, and Blackburn in 12th.

Asked about the performance against Reading, Rowett replied: “We started really well, for the first 10-15 minutes. But recently in some of our home games the opposition, without really creating chances or putting us on the rack, are making it difficult for us to get the ball back and play with any intensity.

“It was a little bit of frustrating period in the first half.

“Then we’ve found a way to win the games against Reading and Stoke with really, really good second halves. There are no two ways about it – we performed really well and deservedly won them both.

“As disappointing as periods of the first half have been in both of them, we have found a way to play and improve. That seems to be the pattern that a lot of our home games are going at the moment. If they continue to go the same pattern – in that we at least win – I’m not overly bothered. There was a terrific atmosphere in the stadium.”

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