Millwall boss Gary Rowett reveals what he told his players after final-day anguish at Bournemouth

GARY Rowett told his players not to be “downhearted” after their play-off bid ended on the last day with their 1-0 defeat at AFC Bournemouth.

Even if the Lions had won they wouldn’t have made the top six as Sheffield United defeated Fulham and Luton won against Reading.

“It’s been a tough season in many ways, we’ve had to work incredibly hard, a lot harder than we normally would have to in a season just to find ways to win games,” Rowett said.

“It’s been very difficult to get a settled team, to get the best team out but the team found a way because they’ve got such character and such hunger and drive.

“Even today, I thought we gave the game a really good go. We had to change formation two or three times.

“I thought we started really well, there wasn’t an awful lot in the game. We had to chase it, we had to open up. Kieffer Moore capitalised on that with a bit of quality. We had other moments when we should have done better and break away.

“It’s disappointing but I don’t think the result made much difference today because the other results were going against us.

“But a good season. I’ve said that to the players in there, don’t be downhearted and we should all be very proud of what we’ve achieved.

“As a manager I’m always going to be a little bit more miserable because I want to get into the top six, it’s as simple as that.

“But, for the players, they’ve given everything, and the staff. To be honest, I can’t really ask for more from them and that’s that.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly