Millwall boss discusses ever-present Mahlon Romeo – and how he can become top full-back

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett says he has been "really impressed" with Mahlon Romeo this season – but identified where he believes the defender can improve his game.

Romeo, 24, has played every minute of Rowett's 20 league games in charge, part of a defence that has kept five clean sheets in the last nine games. Romeo produced an outstanding block to deny Scott Sinclair in the 1-0 win at Preston last Saturday, something highlighted by his manager as an example of how good he can be defensively.

Former Gillingham defender Romeo has played 33 games this season, but has yet to score. His last league goal was against Sheffield United in December 2017, meaning he's on a run of 106 games without finding the back of the net.

Romeo won a penalty against Fulham in Millwall's last home game, and Rowett wants to see more end product from the defender in the final third.

"I've been really impressed with him, as an attacking full-back, an attacking wing-back it comes naturally to him," Rowett said. "He wants to go and get forward, he wants to get into those positions.

"I spoke to him a little about if he wants to become a top full-back he's got to add assists and goals to his game.

"He has started to affect the game in the final third, [winning] the penalty against Fulham. He creates lots of good opportunities for other people but needs to add some of those numbers to his game.

"I've always said to the same to him, defensively when Mahlon has that right mentality to defend properly, he's a really good defender. Every now and then he switches off his concentration because that's not something that comes naturally to him.

"But I think he's done it much better in the last six or seven games. His mentality is much better and I've said it to him before, I think he's got far more potential, it's just about how much he wants to drag that potential out of himself.

"I've been really impressed with him. The block at the weekend was a fantastic bit of defending and for me that's every bit as important as breaking forward and setting a goal up or putting a cross in.

"He's certainly been a very good player for us, I've been really pleased with him. But as a young player there is a lot more development to come."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly