West Brom caretaker boss gives his assessment on defeat to Millwall

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

West Brom caretaker boss James Shan admitted the timing of Millwall’s opening goal was a big disappointment – suffering the first defeat of his temporary reign in South London.

The Baggies had won three games in a row under Shan but Ryan Tunnicliffe’s first-half goal was followed up by what looked to be an own goal as Ben Thompson’s driven cross ended up in the bottom of the net.

Jay Rodriguez missed a penalty with the score at 1-0 before Ahmed Hegazi was dismissed late on for a second bookable offence.

“I’m disappointed how we conceded both goals if I’m honest with you,” said Shan. “We’ve had two very similar games at Birmingham and Millwall – they play quite similar.

“At times we struggled with some directness against Birmingham. And again, the nature of the first goal is exactly that – it’s a kick from the goalkeeper. We haven’t dealt with the first contact, we haven’t dealt with the regain. I haven’t seen the goal back live yet, whether Sam [Johnstone] can do better I don’t know. Whether he has seen it late or it’s gone through bodies I’m not too sure.

“We had a spell in the first half after their bright start where we gained some control. The timing, more than anything, of the first goal was most disappointing for me.

“Momentum plays a massive part in any game. We knew what to expect, I’d been and watched them against Leeds last weekend. They started very quickly and very bright there and caused Leeds problems.

“I thought we had control of the game up until when they scored.

“Then we had a few minutes after that where we were a little frantic and lacked composure. Then we were the better team going into half-time. I showed the lads some things at half-time about how and where we gain control. We could have defended better with the ball, we were a little bit impatient. We wanted to penetrate too often when we could have recycled and played in front.

“The penalty miss is obviously a chance to gain some real momentum. I genuinely believed if we scored one we would score two or three. That was a big momentum changer because five minutes later they go up the other end of the pitch and score.

“The nature of the goal we conceded was poor. We’ve cleared it, we’ve not stepped out in relationship with the ball – we’ve left big gaps and holes. People are telling me the ball was out of play. Whether it was or not, the manner they got in to create that chance was very, very disappointing.

“Then the sending off leaves you with very little to work with, to do.”

PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD