Millwall manager on his side's controversial goal against Fulham, penalty miss – and Lions 'bad habit'

GARY Rowett was pleased with the improvement Millwall showed in their 1-1 draw against Fulham on Wednesday and was disappointed his side didn't clinch the three points at The Den.

Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Fulham a third-minute lead with a close-range finish before Jon Dadi Bodvarsson equalised for the hosts five minutes later.

The visitors felt Bodvarsson's goal shouldn't have stood as he was in an offside position, but Rowett said it was impossible to tell if the last touch had come off Tom Bradshaw or Josh Onomah.

Jed Wallace had the chance to make it 2-1 but smashed a 22nd-minute penalty off the top of the crossbar and over.

Scott Parker's side went close to winning it in added-time but substitute Neeskens Kebano's header rebounded off the crossbar.

"It was a much better performance," Rowett said after his side had lost 2-0 at home to West Brom on Sunday. "That was the beauty of the evening, it was just as difficult a game. We had less recovery than Fulham which is always a concern, but it's the Championship, you've just got to deal with it.

"If you play that formation you've got to have energy and play it with intensity. First half we started really poorly, we've got into a little habit recently of conceding soft goals, and I don't like that habit.

"But we recovered well with a set-piece goal. There was a little bit of controversy around it but it was really difficult. The linesman didn't flag straightaway. I've watched it three times or four times and you cannot tell who the touch came off. It's a difficult one for the officials but I'm sure Scotty will be disappointed [a free-kick] wasn't given, and I understand that.

"I'm not sure which way the officials go with it if they're not sure.

"Jed unfortunately for once is not his usual accurate self, but that's going to happen. He's trying to do everything he can but one or two things didn't come off for him tonight. But he still tried them.

"First half we played really well to press Fulham as well as we did, to disrupt them as well as we did. We played with composure to get so many balls in behind, it was really encouraging.

"The challenge second half is can you maintain it, and the issue against a side like Fulham is they're very good at playing around you. Their pressing triggers are always different and they move with fluidity and freedom. They can all handle the ball technically.

"We probably had a 20-minute spell when we struggled to get out, but as often happens at The Den the crowd stay with us and get behind us and I thought we finished the game really strongly.

"I felt it was a really even game in a lot of ways, Fulham had a lot more possession and control but I thought we had the better chances. I don't think Bart [Bialkowski] was worked that hard.

"We're a bit disappointed with the draw but it was certainly a more positive performance."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly