GARY Rowett praised the “excellent” Jed Wallace after the attacker scored 10 league goals for the second consecutive season – but felt he and strike partner Kenneth Zohore lacked support in the first half of the 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Wednesday evening.
Wallace scored to make it 3-1 but Dominic Solanke snuffed out any chance of a comeback with the Cherries’ fourth.
Wallace is the first Lions player to get into double figures in league goals in consecutive seasons since Lee Gregory in 2018.
“He’s been excellent,” Rowett said. “And to a certain extent I felt a bit sorry for Jed and Ken first half because every time they got the ball we didn’t support quickly enough. We didn’t bridge that gap quickly enough, we didn’t pass the ball well enough.
“I felt especially the start of the second half Ken started to come into the game, looked like how we know he can play and Jed played off that. It was another good finish from Jed.
“We had a real bright spell at the start of the second half, we actually competed against them and got into some good areas, had a ball cleared off the line from a corner which potentially could have made it 3-2.
“It would have made it a little bit more interesting but as it is they go and make it 4-1.
“Jed’s performed really well and whatever happens now he’s had another good season.”
Rowett referred to Bournemouth’s “athleticism” after the game and that’s what he feels Millwall need more of as the transfer window draws closer.
Rowett said: “There are certain areas we need to strengthen. We’ve spoken about needing more goals and just in general a little bit more athleticism. A little bit more strength and power in our running as well as that little more quality in the final third.
“There are clear areas to me. If you look at tonight if you had Shaun Hutchinson, Ryan Leonard, if you add some of the players that we’ve got unavailable then it’s a different scenario.
“We have been a little bit short, I don’t think there’s any disgrace in saying that. We’re Millwall, we want to be ambitious but we don’t feel like there’s a God-given right for us to be up around those top-six positions. We’ve got to scrap and fight.
“We just need a couple more areas to be filled and I don’t think we’ll be too far away.”
Rowett confirmed that Murray Wallace and Shane Ferguson would miss the rest of the season. Eleven Millwall players have missed a month or more of the campaign through injury.
“No doubt I’ll pick my phone up tomorrow morning and there will be another couple ruled out. It’s tough going at the moment,” Rowett said.
“If you can pick a strong squad and a strong team to play against these sides then you give yourself a massive chance.
“At the moment we’re hugely impaired and compromised in terms of doing that. But it is what it is and we’ve got to show a little bit more pride than that, a little bit more spirit.
“We’re going to have to go to Watford and certainly put a better performance in.”
Image: Millwall FC