Millwall boss explains how squad will prepare before quest for first away win at Reading

GARY Rowett wants to give the Millwall players "clear and precise" information rather than "overloading" them early on in his Lions reign.

Rowett had two training sessions with the squad before their 2-0 win over Stoke last Saturday, with the Lions doing more than usual as the new manager got his ideas across.

Rowett has a full week to prepare for the trip to Reading this Saturday.

"It's always difficult for the first two days because you think, 'you know what, we're going to have to take a little bit of a gamble on doing a little bit more to give them the information they need so they're a little bit more organised in the game',' Rowett said.

"That's maybe why we had that little spell in the second half, it's the back end of a three-game week and we'd done a little bit more in the previous two days.

"Sometimes as a manager you have to understand that certain things are going to happen based on what you've asked them to do.

"This week will be slightly different in that we still want to give them information, and all the players understand the philosophy and those principles, and then you can then limit that information further down the line. But early on it's about being clear and precise with the information rather than just overloading with loads of things.

"This week's a bit easier because we've got more time. Monday was more about trying to recover because they'd had a big week. As much as I want them to train and work we've still got to be mindful that it's a small squad. We can't afford too many injuries so we have to look after the players a little bit.

"[Tuesday] was about just trying to get some bits of information into the players but not overloading them too early in the week.

"Then [Wednesday] is the main day in terms of a little bit or work on what we need to do to go and be competitive against Reading."

Millwall's win over Stoke was their first by a two-goal margin this season and their first clean sheet in 11 league games.

Rowett said: "It was really positive, but we're mindful it was the first game and a lot of things can happen in the first game. There's that newness and enthusiasm and the challenge is going to be to maintain that.

"I was really pleased with the fact that the players took on a lot of our ideas in a short space of time and executed them with quality to match the enthusiasm and endeavour that we know the team has.

"Whether your performance is an attacking one or a defensive one, and it usually has a bit of everything in there, you have to have that solid base. I know the team this season hasn't kept as many clean sheets as they would like.

"I think at the weekend it was down to the composure the players showed in the last 10 or 15 minutes when against a side like Stoke you can come under a lot of pressure. But I felt we kept our shape, we still pressed when we needed to press. That's important that we don't just drop in and hang on, which I know is difficult not to do sometimes."

"We showed composure on transitions. We need to build on the performance and see if we can improve."

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly