Friday, February 23, 2024

Millwall boss answers question about the decision to wait until late to make substitute changes

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Gary Rowett has explained his thinking behind not making any Millwall changes until the closing stages in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Reading.

Andreas Voglsammer’s first-half penalty earned maximum points for the Lions, who moved back into the Championship play-off places.

Rowett only used two of his substitutes – both in the 78th minute – as Oliver Burke and Shaun Hutchinson replaced Voglsammer and George Honeyman.

The introduction of Hutchinson saw Millwall switch to a back five.

Asked if he had thought about freshening things up before he did make subs, Rowett replied: “No, not really. At one point it looked like Sav had picked up a bit of a stiff back and I thought about putting Shacks in there to add a little bit of energy.

“Burkey and Dunc are the ones you think of that give you a little bit of pace and energy out wide but, deep down, if you watched the game for about a 10 or 15-minute spell in the second half they kept switching the ball to their wing-backs and putting the ball in the box.

“That’s the point. It always felt like a game where we would switch to wing-backs and switch to a back three.

“I didn’t want to do that too early because I think, with the temptation after Luton, you know that if you do it and concede an equaliser, people then attribute the equaliser to a negative substitution. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with that, they played the whole game like that.

“You have to get a feel for games. Sometimes you’ll get it right, sometimes you’ll get it wrong. Sometimes you might get it right but someone makes a mistake so you end up losing the scoreline – it’s not always the formation.

“At that stage they are a big side putting a lot of physical pressure on us. I felt Hutchy and Burkey – for different reasons – would give us the right ingredients at that point.”


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