Jackett praises Marquis and Afobe after Middlesbrough win

© Julie Badrick
© Julie Badrick

KENNY Jackett praised frontmen John Marquis and Benik Afobe after Millwall's victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Marquis and Afobe were paired together for the first time against Tony Mowbray's side and played vital roles as the Lions claimed a crucial 2-1 win in front of the television cameras.

George Friend's own goal and Martyn Woolford's first for the club put Millwall in command at half-time and while Curtis Main's strike gave Boro hope, they were unable to find an equaliser.

Three points on Teesside ended the Lions' five-match losing run and Jackett said: "It was a really big result. For Millwall to beat a club like Middlesbrough away is a great achievement after five defeats.

"We've had a good FA Cup run but have been disappointing in the Championship. Often when you lose five on the spin, the first thing you do is get a point to stop the rot – but we got all three.

"In the second-half we got into some great positions beyond their midfielders but we did not quite capitalise on those to go on and get a third goal.

"We came with two up front and I felt both Benik and John showed a lot of promise for the future. They had good games – we have two young players there who complement each other.

"I was pleased with them both. Hopefully they can take the club forward – if we can get our attacking options right, the rest of the side will follow."

Jackett made five changes to his starting line-up against Middlesbrough following the 5-1 midweek defeat to Peterborough and the Millwall boss felt a shake-up was needed.

Josh Wright, Danny Shittu, Alan Dunne, Martyn Woolford and Marquis came into the side, with the likes of Liam Trotter, Adam Smith and Andy Keogh dropping to the bench.

"We have had a bad run – I was disappointed on Tuesday night so we needed a fresh impetus and fresh players," Jackett said. "We needed balance to our side.

"You can see Shittu's influence is a big one – we have missed his voice and his organisation at the back. Josh sat in front of the back four and gave us the calmness in possession I was looking for."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

20 thoughts on “Jackett praises Marquis and Afobe after Middlesbrough win

  • February 23, 2013 at 23:53
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    Well done KJ and the boys came good finally

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  • February 24, 2013 at 00:00
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    I'm not going to get carried away with tonight after tonight but along with criticism should come praise. And tonight they need a bit of praise.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 00:23
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    A battling performance with Millwall spirit, playing like that will win us more games than it will lose.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 00:34
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    So Arsenal can expect a call from Pearson on Monday then.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 02:11
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    I like kenny, but have been critical of his choices recently, he made the right choices tonight, trotts needed droppin for a wake up call, and keogh just needs confidence, we need them both so hop we draw a line under this and move on together, afobe came out of his shell tonight, had a great game, made his presence felt, marquis too, shows we have a good squad, like to see a-smith again,hes been great and will learn like a pro,good results boys, hopefully this is the start of our "end of season run"well done all the boys COYL!!!!!

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  • February 24, 2013 at 08:59
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    Well done lads, gritty performance. Much needed 3 points. KJ got his response and was brave enough to make much needed changes. Midfield worked so much harder without Trotter drifting around. Adobe looked the part and marquis ran himself onto the ground. Think some of the comments about Dunne have been a bit harsh, he done alright.
    Confidence builder this one!!! 3 more wins to guarantee safety and feel better about Blackburn on the horizon. COYL.

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    • February 24, 2013 at 10:36
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      I thought Dunne played well yesterday, I just believe Smith is a better player and didn't deserve to be dropped for what I believe was KJ's mistake, playing Afobe right wing. Smith and Henry down the right has looked good this season.

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      • February 24, 2013 at 20:50
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        Cabbie that's a message for me mate.
        I have been harsh in this site towards dunne and unfortunately I always will be in the 10 yrs since he broke through I have never rated him and he could play for another 10 and I still won't rate him, why, he's just my player I don't rate. It makes me cringe every time I see his name on the team sheet. He can't defend and can't attack he drifts inside so far he looks like a center half, he never tells the man in front of him to come back and pick a man up to help him out, his decision making costs us more than not. Sorry cabbie as much as I admit my previous posts have been harsh, as a rightback I won't be bought on this one, but I'll be less harsh.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 09:19
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    Great result and response from the team, well done lads. I have been openly critical on this site's of KJ lately ( I believe rightly so but that is my opinion), but he did the right thing dropping Trotts tonight. No player should be immune from this. They have to live and die by the sword and Trotts was basically the only player who had 100% guaranteed start, regardless of how he played. We all know he can play better so this will do him the world of good. Also I just happen to highly rate Josh Wright, and when Trotts gets picked EVERY game, what motivation does it give JW when he knows he won't get in anyway? All 11 players. Should be picked on merit. Afobe looked fast and strong as well. We'll done KJ, credit where it's due, players in their correct positions, and we'll done the team, great effort.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 11:12
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    That's the key point, players i their correct positions. Seems obvious but amazsingly missed so often

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  • February 24, 2013 at 12:45
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    MOTM for Afobe played well in the right position he will do well for us, not sure abut john M maybe needs a few more starts mid field was better no one hiding or being lazy (Trotter) team done well but needs improving we have to keep the ball more and break quicker, stop the root one ball its to predictable teams have rumbled it now, get on the floor we have the players we can mug team off, it was good to see some graft again out there something thats been missing for a while. Thanks for that win Millwall although nail biting towards the end work rate was better COYL

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  • February 24, 2013 at 18:39
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    Afobe has pace, pace is priceless in any league but in my opinion even more so in the Championship where there are so many teams that are evenly matched.

    I would take a player with raw pace and perhaps lacking in other departments over an old boy with a good brain on them.

    Give him a run I say.

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    • February 24, 2013 at 20:27
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      Raw pace and lacking in other departments ? thats relegation fodder, pure blue square north football is what that =
      Lets look back at afobe, pace - yes
      First touch - yes. Strength - yes. Eye for goal - yes. Awareness - yes. Collectivety - yes. Individuality - yes.
      Now lets look at a few old boys with no pace but a football brain I can think if three straight away
      Teddy Sherringham. Dimitar Berbatov.
      Neil Harris. I'm now thinking that if it was at all possible you'll have afobe with either one of em. I know hands down I would.
      Yes give him a run and yes in champship anyone can beat anyone.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 19:09
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    Great performance and a bold selection by the unflinching KJ. I'd particularly like to pick out John Marquis for some praise as i am usually one of his biggest critics. Ran his balls off and was a constant thorn in the side of the 'boro defence.

    Onwards & upwards, no one likes us but who gives a t***!

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    • February 24, 2013 at 20:35
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      Nice touch blues, in total agreement there mate. could have had a breather towards the end just so us couple hundred up there could give him a little ovation. Shame, would have been a nice touch. For me anyway, as I like the boy and think he could have a good career for US.

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  • February 25, 2013 at 02:21
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    on the subject of john marquis i really want him to make it with us cos he's a local lad,one of us,come through the youth system like robbo,dunney,craigo,we need them,harris wasn't home grown but it felt like he was.but you know what, each time i see marquis i come away thinking no great pace,not much in the air, not clever feet,and up to now no real eye for a goal,i think he's 20 now and if a player doesn't have one or a couple of these by now i'm thinking he aint gonna. i think his work rate and desire and big heart is great but without some of the other attributes i'm not sure he'll make it . i'd love to be wrong

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    • February 25, 2013 at 06:14
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      You may well be proven right borders,
      I'll give him to end of next season. All these loan signings definately won't help him unless he can learn something on the training ground. It's a tough one to work out, cause he aint the little guy who can pick up the big guys pieces and he ain't the big guy who will knock the ball down or use his strength to hold the ball up. I hope we're not talking about his "potential" yr after yr though borders like we were Kevin brannif. Until then he has my full backing. Why I like him ? Guess cause he's one of our own and I don't like all these loans we're getting. Not much of a reason I know, but hey ho.

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  • February 26, 2013 at 12:30
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    I dont think that Marquis is the answer, he did nothing imo in this match, ok he put Friend under pressure for the goal, but what else did he bring? he is not experienced and clever enough in this league, at best he is a league 1 player, I have never really rated him as a player and my opinions are still the same, I think that Jackett should be looking to ship him out on loan next season, he will never be a 20 goal a season striker we crave, or in fact a great target man he may give his all but he needs to go!!!

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