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3 things we clearly learnt about Millwall after their 1-1 draw with Derby

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Millwall are just a point back from the top six heading into the November international break but may feel they missed out on a chance to climb into the play-off places against Derby County on Saturday.

The Rams had been on top in the first half but Scott Malone’s stoppage-time goal ensured scores were level at the break, with Festy Ebosele having put the visitors ahead in the 44th minute.

Gary Rowett’s side were much improved in the second half and were boosted by Nathan Byrne’s sending off just after the hour mark but ultimately could not capitalise as the game finished 1-1.

With nearly two weeks to wait until Millwall’s next chance to push into the top six, we’ve outlined three things we clearly learnt from the 1-1 draw with Derby…

Just how important Shaun Hutchinson is to the side

The Millwall skipper was missing against the Rams due to illness and his absence highlighted just how important a player he is to Rowett’s side.

The back three of Jake Cooper, Daniel Ballard, and Murray Wallace looked a little fragile without Hutchinson and Derby had plenty of chances in both halves.

On another day and facing a more clinical strike force, the Lions likely would’ve been punished further for some of the mistakes that were made by an uncharacteristically shaky backline.

Without Hutchinson marshalling the defence, neither Cooper nor Ballard quite showcased their full quality and that highlights just what an important influence he is.

Luckily, it seems as though he should be back healthy and firing to go after the international break.

Have each of these 24 ex-Millwall academy players ever played in the Premier League?

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1) Has Marvin Elliott ever played in the Premier League?

Millwall have missed Scott Malone’s attacking contributions

After the game, Rowett suggested that Malone was at times a player with Premier League quality and it was the former Rams defender that produced one of the game’s decisive moments on Saturday.

He hammered a strike under Kelle Roos from the edge of the box to ensure scores were level at the break – serving a reminder of what an asset he can be in the final third.

Last term, Malone scored six times (the second most of any Lions player) and added five assists but he’s struggled to contribute in the same way in the early part of 2021/22.

If he can start scoring and providing assists regularly, it will be massive for Millwall’s play-off push.

Playing at the Den is both a blessing and a curse

It would’ve been easy to forget that Millwall were a team just outside the play-offs given the way parts of the crowd turned on Rowett and his players in Saturday’s game.

When the game was scoreless in the first half, the frustration of many supporters was clear and it’s unlikely that sort of reaction helped to spur the players on.

The Den can be an intimidating and difficult place for travelling sides to visit but recently we’ve seen that it can be a challenge for the Lions as well.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Millwall after their 1-1 draw with Derby

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