Millwall boss urges Lions to 'stay in the play-off mix' ahead of London derby against Fulham

GARY Rowett is keeping Millwall’s recent run of form in perspective ahead of tonight’s London derby against Fulham at The Den.

The Lions have won one of their last five league games, losing to the current top two West Brom and Leeds.

Millwall went sixth after beating Luton 3-1 on New Year’s Day, but are five points off the play-offs as they face promotion contenders Preston three days after their clash against the Cottagers.

“I think what we have to remember is we’ve worked incredibly hard to get up there,” Rowett said. We’ve worked so hard to get in the mix and we want to stay in the mix, simple as that.

“There’s no God-given right to be up there. I look at the last seven games and we’ve got a better record than West Brom and Leeds. Leeds lost four out five, West Brom had won one in six before they played us.

“We’re really disappointed with two defeats against the top two sides. I think we just have to be logical about it. We’ve faced a difficult run of games and we’ve got to come out of that with a decent points tally and stay in the mix. That’s what the Championship dictates and that’s what we’ve got to do.

“We want to respond after Sunday a lot more positively against Fulham. It will be a tough game but we’ve got to make it a tough game for them as well. Teams coming to Millwall have never thought, ‘this is not going to be a tough game’.

“That’s why I was a little bit disappointed with Sunday, we allowed it to be a little bit easier than we should have done, and that’s certainly something we don’t want to do on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Mason Bennett and Ryan Leonard both played 45 minutes for the under-23s in a behind-closed-doors game on Monday. Leonard is the likelier of the two to feature against Scott Parker’s side.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly