BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett saw his in-game tweak come off today as Millwall’s formation switch helped seal a 3-1 win over Luton Town at The Den.
The Lions were trailing to a Sonny Bradley goal at the break but the Lions chief had made a change late in that first period as Alex Pearce was subbed off for Tom Bradshaw.
It saw Millwall go from a 5-2-3 formation to 4-2-3-1.
Bradshaw equalised before an excellent Connor Mahoney strike and a Matt Smith header saw the South Londoners run out deserved winners.
“I was disappointed with the first half,” said Rowett. “I took a bit of a gamble with the team in terms of what I thought the game would be.
“It was quite hard to prepare for it because of the amount of different formations Luton play. The fact they played 5-2-3, the same as us, made it really hard to get players in and around Smudge. You could see that our quality was really poor.
“It was a side issue from the Brentford game, because we were so good with the energy and it’s hard to recreate the same in such a short turnaround.
“We were struggling. There was no zip and we looked really laboured. We had a spell at the end of the first half where we started playing aimless forward balls that were going out of play.
“I decided we need to change the system. We’ve been so good 5-2-3 but you’ve got to show flexibility. You could see it needed a change and I had to sacrifice Pearcey. I never like to do that but I think he understood I needed to do it for the benefit of the team.
“We needed to get someone nearer Smudge. Bradders came on and made a real difference.”