Millwall manager Gary Rowett: I knew if we scored first goal of second half that we’d beat Luton

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Gary Rowett saw his Millwall side move into the Championship play-off places after a 3-1 win over Luton – and he always felt they could turnaround the contest if they scored first in the second period.

The Lions were trailing to Sonny Bradley’s header but Tom Bradshaw levelled the contest before goals by Connor Mahoney and Matt Smith secured all the points.

“I said if we could get the first goal of the second half we’ll go on to win the game,” said Rowett. “Probably the second best cross of the game from Jed, it took us time to find that quality. Matt Smith gets in those positions at the back post, heads down and Bradders mops up for the goal which was thoroughly deserved.

“Then it was whether we could go and score again. We had all the ball, all the control, all the intensity.

“Again I felt like we needed to change it and get someone on the pitch who might give us a little bit extra creativity. I nearly put Jiri [Skalak] on but though Connor might give us a moment of magic.

“It’s a fabulous run. He feints to shot, the defender slides in and he finds the bottom corner.

“It’s a fabulous ball from Connor and Smudge doesn’t miss from there, that’s why he’s in the team.

“I said at half-time to the players that we’re a goal down and performed poorly – I don’t really care about what the result is at the end – I just want us to go out and put a performance in with more quality and play quicker, quicker to the front areas. We were too slowed moving the ball around the back.

“We started much, much better in the second – much better intensity. We pinned them in and started putting them under pressure.”

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