Millwall manager on season’s best passing statistic in rout of Bristol City at The Den

MILLWALL completed more passes against Bristol City last Saturday than in any of their games this season – but Gary Rowett says that doesn’t necessarily herald a change in direction in his team’s style of play.

The Lions completed 459 passes – a success rate of 83 per cent – as they routed the Robins 4-1.

But Millwall were perhaps aided by a poor display by the visitors whose players looked like their minds were partly on their summer holidays.

Rowett’s side have become less direct and more patient than under predecessor Neil Harris. Rowett has mostly played a partnership of Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett in attack in 2021 in the absence of target men, with the team finding different ways of locating their front players.

Millwall guaranteed a top-half finish in 2020-21 after one of their most stylish performances of the season.

“Things like that are nice to show a bit of progress,” Rowett said. “I read a stat that said we made the most passes out of any team in the Championship [last weekend].

“Teams like Norwich, Brentford are really possession-based sides that have been working over a long period of time to create a philosophy, so for us to do that I thought was excellent.

“But again, the fact we made a lot of passes and scored goals doesn’t necessarily mean we’re suddenly going to change direction.

“We’ve been going down a certain route and a style of play for the last 18 months, bit by bit, and we want to try and maintain that and build on it and improve.

“Saturday was an example how we feel we can improve. But of course that doesn’t mean that every game we’re suddenly going to have a mentality that we’re there to score four goals regardless of what happens at the other end.

“We always want a balance and I was quite pleased with it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly