Millwall boss gives his reaction to defeat at Barnsley – including ‘undoing’ and tactical breakdown

GARY Rowett said his side switched off at two key moments to give Barnsley two goals in the Lions’ defeat at Oakwell on Saturday.

Cauley Woodrow and Michal Helik scored in each half after Mason Bennett had equalised in the sixth minute.

Rowett praised Barnsley for their approach, but felt the scoreline didn’t reflect how the game went.

“No, I don’t think so. I thought it was a very close game, very tight. I thought we were the better side first half, they were probably the better side second half,” Rowett said.

“Two moments in the game undo us. First one is second phase, for both goals we don’t win the first ball and then don’t react to the second ball.

“The first goal was offside. I’m not going to massively complain about it but it is offside. I think the linesman should be able to see it, I’ve seen the replay several times.

“But we should defend it better.

Mason Bennett scored at Barnsley

“Then after the first goal we settled well. It was an interesting game because the last time we played them we had to work out how to stop them playing out from the back and all their rotation and movement. What they’ve done now is found an effective way, they are really direct. They are possibly the most direct side I’ve seen in the Championship.

“But they’re good at it, they’re organised and they just keep putting balls down your throat. They defend very high. That’s when you need to play with composure.

“First half when we did play with composure we played over the top of their back-line and broke their defence with good runs and got into dangerous positions, as with the goal.

“Second half we didn’t do it often enough. We had so many opportunities just to put a ball with a little bit of height into a good area for someone to run on to.

“Our clearances just went to their defenders who just headed it back down our throat. Our opportunities to play forward weren’t good enough and they get away with that high line defensively.

“That was the disappointment. There was nothing in the game. They just pinned us in for the first 15, 20 minutes of the second half. They’re a pressure team, they want you to make a mistake and if they keep doing it often enough they hope you switch off, and we switched off.

“We then get our one big chance of the second half. It’s two set-pieces, Mason does well for the first goal and probably should score the second one also.

“I think that’s a reasonably fair reflection of the game. It’s the Championship and you don’t always get what you feel you deserved.

“They’ve worked incredibly hard, they all press and chase and do what they need to do. You have to take your hat off to them.

“I’m disappointed we switched off at two big moments and it’s two set-pieces that have been our undoing.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly