Gary Rowett pleased with ‘really good workout’ despite Millwall’s defeat to Watford

By Lucas Ball

MILLWALL lost 3-2 against Premier League Watford in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Hornet’s training ground on Tuesday afternoon.

The Lions’ preparations for the 2021/22 campaign are beginning to ramp up after last week’s Scotland camp which included a 2-0 win over Motherwell.

Domingos Quina gave Xisco Munoz’s side a first-half lead before two goals in the space of two minutes from Matt Smith and then Murray Wallace gave the Lions the lead just before the hour mark.

The lead lasted barely a minute, however, before Adam Masina equalised.

Connor Mahoney hit the bar with just over ten minutes remaining but it was the Hornets who found a winner through former West Ham man Ashley Fletcher four minutes from time.

After the match, Gary Rowett told Millwall’s media: “It was a really good workout against a full-strength Watford side who have come back exactly the same time as us. I thought it was an even game.

“In the first-half, both teams had chances – we probably had the better ones – but couldn’t find that moment of composure in the final third. I was really pleased with a lot of what we did, but we then conceded a free-kick just before half-time, which was a fabulous strike.

“We responded really well in the second-half, though, changing the team. There were a couple of players not playing in their natural position that they’re used to, but we score two good goals to go 2-1 up. We then concede a poor goal straight after that, however, which I was a bit disappointed with.

“We then had a few more good chances, but they scored with their one good chance at the end and it ends up 3-2. I’m not overly concerned about the result – I don’t want to concede three goals, of course – but there were lots of good things.

“As long as I can see players remaining fit and things piecing together, then that’s the main focus.”

Millwall will play a number of behind-closed-doors friendlies in the coming weeks before taking on both Gillingham and Ipswich at the end of July.

Millwall First-Half XI: Long; McNamara, Ballard, Hutchinson, M. Wallace, Malone; Kieftenbeld, B. Mitchell, Saville; J. Wallace, Bennett.

Millwall Second-Half XI: Bialkowski; Romeo, A. Mitchell, Pearce, Cooper, M. Wallace (Burey); Evans, Thompson, Mahoney; Smith, Afobe.

Image: Millwall FC