Lions boss Rowett concedes Luton were deserved winners

Reaction from Millwall chief to Saturday's defeat

Monday, 18th October 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 11:22 am
Millwall boss Gary Rowett

Millwall boss Gary Rowett conceded that the Hatters were thoroughly deserving of their 2-0 triumph at the Den on Saturday.

The Lions went into the game sitting two places and one point above Luton, on the back of a seven match unbeaten run as well, having drawn at title favourites West Bromwich Albion and beating both Bristol City and Barnsley.

However, they were second best for long periods against a Town team who looked solid, robust, and dangerous throughout, Harry Cornick scoring an excellent double for a first win over their opponents on the road since 1999.

The hosts couldn’t even bag a late consolation, Jed Wallace denied from the penalty spot by a fine Simon Sluga save, as a large majority of Lions fans had long since turned on their own manager for the display they were witnessing.

Speaking afterwards, Rowett said: “We went into the game on the back of a seven game unbeaten run, to have won two games in a row, to have been three points off the play-offs and to really be quite excited about hoping we could put a performance in in front of our fans at home that showed we’re desperate to try and get to where we want to be, I’m disappointed.

"We didn't look like we quite had that extra bit of drive, that extra little bit of competitive nature about us, we looked like we wanted the game to be a little bit nice.

“I felt Luton came and did all the right things an away team needs to do.

"They sat in their shape, they worked incredibly hard, they fought for every ball, every time a set-piece went in the box their heads were on it first, they’ve scored with two counter-attacks, two transitions, they looked threatening.

“We had opportunities to play forward and we didn’t, we got the ball nicked off us trying to play little passes and that was the disappointment.

“We’ve had a lot more possession, a lot more shots, but we didn't look like we were really ever going to win the game and in fairness, I felt that Luton deserved to win the game.

“Even with the penalty with 10 minutes to go, if we'd have scored it, yes it gives us 10 minutes to really go and make that last 10 minutes, but it felt like that summed the game up.

“We missed the penalty and the game fizzled out.

"I can see our fans leaving and I don't blame them because they’ve come with the hope we put in a really determined performance and it just felt like it wasn’t a performance that we needed.”