Charlton boss offers tactical assessment of Millwall after derby stalemate

CHARLTON manager Karl Robinson outlined what makes Millwall so difficult to play against after the clubs’ scoreless draw at The Valley on Saturday.

Both sides could have won the game. Millwall created the more clear-cut chances, while Robinson maintained Patrick Bauer’s second-half goal that was ruled out for a foul on Jordan Archer should have stood.

Robinson pinpointed the roles of attackers Steve Morison, Lee Gregory, Fred Onyedinma and Aiden O’Brien after a result that extended Millwall’s unbeaten run over Charlton to 10 games

“I thought we were the better team, I thought we dominated territorially,” Robinson said.

“The problem with Millwall and what they’re so good at is when you’re on top, with Gregory and Morison you’re always suspect, and that was the fear for us.

“We were always worried on the turnover how they can exploit you when you’re at your best. It happened at The Den when we were probably the best team when they scored their goal. We got over-carried away and they hit us on the counterattack.

“The last five minutes my players were dead on their feet because I couldn’t make any more substitutions. That’s when they came into it when we fatigued in the last 10 minutes.

“Morison has been a stalwart for Millwall, he’s one that has a connection to the fans. He knows the importance of this game so he almost raises his game for it. But I thought my players raised their game as well and looked very strong.

“It’s not so much him, they sit with two very deep banks and it’s hard to play through them. It’s hard to go wide and cross because you’ve got two beasts at centre-back who want to head it.

“On the turnover the two (strikers) stay and exploit you on the counterattack. Fred also does it from the right-wing position and O’Brien plays very narrow and very high.

“That formation is difficult to play against because it’s a 4-4-2 but it’s a counterattacking 4-4-2 on the right and a narrow eleven on the left with the two strikers pinning two or three players back. So they create numerical overloads on the turnover.

“We worked hard all week on that and we nullified certain aspects of their game. I wasn’t happy with certain things, once we got emotionally attached to the game we lost our quality. When we didn’t and we played our football we looked the better team.”

Lions boss Neil Harris named the same starting XI for the sixth successive game, but hinted there will be changes in the coming weeks.

Harris said: “I feel like I’ve got a squad of 19 at the moment who could all comfortably play in the team. Joe Martin hasn’t made the bench for the last six games and that’s tough because he’s a good player at this level.

“I’ve got a squad at the moment that’s competitive and everyone wants to play. It looks like we’ve come through healthy again today (Saturday).

“We’ve got 14 games coming up in eight weeks and everyone will get their opportunity to play in that period.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly