Millwall midfielder on Swansea keep-ball, turning things around – and must-win Barnsley test

BILLY Mitchell said he had “faith” Millwall could turn around their form after their winless run stretched to three games with their 1-0 defeat to Swansea City at The Den on Tuesday night.

Joel Piroe scored the only goal of the game a minute into the second half.

It meant that Millwall stayed four points off sixth but that is now six points after Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 win over Coventry City on Wednesday.

“Frustrating game, considering the position we’re in and what’s on the line. I think it was just a frustrating performance,” Mitchell told NewsAtDen.

“Fair play to Swansea, they move the ball really, really well. First half we struggled to get near them.

“Second half, slightly better. We put them under more pressure higher up the pitch and probably created the better chances second half.

“But I think their goal early in the second half was just a bit of a sucker punch. It was bad timing. Probably a little bit of misfortune, I think the ball ricocheted off Muzza [Murray Wallace] which is not really his fault.

“It’s one of those things, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and move on again to Saturday.

“It is difficult [to have so little possession] and fair play to Swansea. Obviously they’ve been coached really well to do what they do with aplomb.

“But there’s no doubt that we could have got tighter in certain areas of the pitch. It’s a learning experience, every game brings its own challenges and tonight we didn’t quite match them.

“I think we probably had the better chances in the game but Swansea have taken theirs and we haven’t managed to convert ours. That’s the difference. When we were having our really good run we were taking our chances and set-pieces, 1-0 here and there.

“Whereas the last couple of games things haven’t quite gone our way and we haven’t got the rub of the green.

“But that’s football.”

Millwall had to do a lot of running without the ball against Swansea

The Lions were already long shots for the play-offs but realistically now need to win all their remaining games.

Relegation-threatened Barnsley visit The Den this Saturday.

“We definitely believe in or ability as a team,” Mitchell said. “Never a truer word has been spoken about taking one game at a time, particularly in the position we’re in at the moment.

“Our last three results haven’t been particularly great but I’ve got faith in the squad that we can turn things around.

“The fixtures do fall in our favour in terms of their position in the league so we’ve got to make the most of that.

“With the position Barnsley are in they’re obviously desperate, they’re fighting for survival and they’re going to need to probably bring the game to us.

“Perhaps that means we may be able to exploit them if they do get a little bit too open chasing the game.

“Likewise I don’t think we can think too far ahead. We’ve got to do our analysis on them and see what the manager puts to us tactics-wise.

“Of course you look at the table but you try not to look too far ahead. You’ve got to take one game at a time. We’ve got some very winnable games coming up and that’s what we’ll be focusing on.

“As for the final outcome towards the end of the season, we’re not too fussed about that at the moment.”

Image: Millwall FC

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John Kelly