Millwall manager Gary Rowett’s reference to Lions fans before the victory over Bristol City

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett wanted his players to send Lions fans watching at home into the summer in buoyant mood – and his side emphatically delivered in their last game at The Den in 2020-21.

The Den has seen supporters at just two games since March 2020 – both at a capacity of 2,000 – but they are set to return next August.

Millwall had little to play for against Bristol City but won 4-1 to seal a second consecutive top-half finish in the Championship.

Rowett praised his side’s attitude as they romped to victory against the Robins. Jed Wallace, Scott Malone, Billy Mitchell and Tom Bradshaw scored in the win.

“It’s always a tough one,” Rowett said. “Again, there’s not much to play for so you have that little question in the back of your mind whether the players can put a performance on full of strong mentality and energy.

“I shouldn’t really have doubted the group because they’ve done that for most of the season. It was a fantastic advert for their attitude, spirit and togetherness.

“I thought right from the off we made sure that our mentality was strong and really looked like we wanted to put a good performance in, in the last game [this season at The Den].

Billy Mitchell’s unusual celebration

“It’s been a difficult season, as we all know, with no fans so it was something that we spoke about to give the fans at least a little bit of positivity to go into next season in the last home game if they’re watching at home.

“I thought we started really well, we moved the ball fantastically well – probably the best we’ve moved the ball and passed the ball.

“The control we had created good opportunities and we scored a good first goal where you thought maybe Jed could square it, and maybe should square it, but when he gets that chance he’s so clinical – I’m glad he didn’t. It was a good way to start the game.”

Tommy Conway equalised after Wallace’s goal.

Rowett added: “We let them back in it a little bit, I felt. It was a little bit – not too easy – but we were passing the ball too well at times and started to get a little open, a little sloppy and gave them a couple of opportunities.

“They scored one and then it was really whether we could respond and we did that. I thought from there on in, we controlled the rest of the match quite comfortably.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly