Gary Rowett would have liked more goals to boost Millwall’s slim play-off hopes

Benik Afobe and George Saville scored either side of a Josh Knight own goal.

By Press Association Published: 30 April 2022 - 6.13pm

Gary Rowett conceded Millwall’s chances of reaching the Championship play-offs appear remote after they failed to drastically improve their goal difference, despite a 3-0 win against Peterborough.

The Lions are three points behind sixth-placed Sheffield United but their goal difference is five worse than the Blades’, meaning they need a dramatic turnaround on the final day to make the play-offs.

Rowett was pleased with how his team put relegated Peterborough to bed, with Benik Afobe and George Saville scoring either side of a Josh Knight own goal.

But he was left to rue their failure to score more and keep themselves in with a realistic chance.

“Other than adding a few more goals to it, I think the second-half performance was really good at times – it was quite scintillating, with lots of chances. And, to be honest with you, we should have probably scored more goals,” he said.

“We had some good opportunities and we missed some chances. There were some great balls across the box which were flashing through and needed someone to get on the end of it.

“The first half was how I felt the game would be. I thought for about 25, 30 minutes we looked pretty much in control and played quite well to get into the final third, but just couldn’t quite find that moment.

“Benik (Afobe) got put in first but couldn’t find that touch to get away, and Bradders (Tom Bradshaw) gets in a good position but couldn’t find the touch around the keeper. Maybe the last 15 Peterborough just kept the ball a little bit to frustrate everybody, but the second half was different.

“We changed formation and it allowed us to press a little bit higher and be more aggressive and on the front foot. I thought the half was more or less all of ours and it was just how many goals we’d get.

“I’m pleased with the performance, I’m pleased with the result, I’m pleased to win 3-0 but we’re at the stage of the season where a couple more goals might have made it even more interesting and we probably should have had them.”

Peterborough frustrated Millwall until the 53rd minute, when Afobe smashed home from close range following a corner.

Substitute Jed Wallace then forced Knight into an own goal with a wicked cross, and then set up Saville to head home a third.

Peterborough boss Grant McCann said: “I’m not one to ever blame officials for a result and we’ve lost the game today because of us. But I will say the decision to give them a throw in, which is a massive strength for them, has cost us the first goal.

“It’s swung the momentum for Millwall because up to that point we were comfortably the better team.

“Yes, we were lacking the end product and yes, we lacked in the final third but they changed their shape in the second half to try and stop us a little more and we had them.

“The throw in just cost us. Obviously Millwall are a good team and they’re bringing people like Jed Wallace on, who is probably one of the best players in the Championship.

“I think what that showed today was the two bits of quality he had to provide the crosses for goals for them, and we didn’t show (that quality). We got in so many areas where we just hit the front man, or overhit it.”

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