BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett admitted that Millwall deserved nothing from today’s home game against West Bromwich Albion.
The Lions lost 2-0 at a windswept Den as Storm Ciara hit SE16.
“When you play against a side like West Brom, as we found when we played Leeds, sometimes it’s just that extra bit of zip and composure about those type of teams which makes it so difficult,” said Rowett. “West Brom’s mentality, in difficult conditions, was fabulous.
“The game ended at 2-0 and whilst before the second I felt there might be an opportunity for us to get back into the game, I would have been pretty luck if we had have done because it could have been three or four before half time.
“There was definitely a big gulf today, which was disappointing because a lot of that gulf was down to our level of performance – which wasn’t enough.
“We started the game like it was a nice summer’s day in May, because we were trying to pass the ball short and gave them two or three opportunities by doing that.
“We spoke about trying to start the game with more intensity and making it more difficult for them early on – make them defend in the first 15 or 20 minutes with our tempo – and we kind of did the opposite.
“They moved the ball really well. They looked like they could find the space to put people in which was partly down to our poor defending but secondly down to their good quality.
“We came up against a very good side.
“I picked a team I felt would suit the conditions rather than what I probably would’ve done for the game – maybe I made a mistake doing that.
“They handled the conditions better than us, whether that’s because they’ve got a little more technicality in their team and composure, I don’t know. But when you can afford to leave the likes of Phillips and Grosicki on the bench and bring them on for the last stages shows there are levels in the Championship.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard for 17 or 18 games to stay with the levels of the Championship and maybe for the second half against Leeds and the 90 minutes against West Brom we have come up a little bit short. I don’t think that is any real embarrassment. It’s disappointing, more than anything else, because I know we’ve got a little more than that – particularly at The Den.”
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD