Gary Rowett has challenged his attacking players to become more clinical, following Millwall’s nine match winless Championship run.
Tuesday’s draw with Queens Park Rangers at The Den marked the Lions’ longest winless run in the league since March 2015.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s late equaliser might have secured a point for Rowett’s side, but it was the 14th game this season that Millwall have managed to score less than two goals in a match.
It means that only the bottom-four have scored fewer than the Londoners this term – with strikers Bodvarsson, Troy Parrott, Matt Smith, Tom Bradshaw and on-loan West Brom man Kenneth Zohore having netted just four times between them.
The ever-reliable Jed Wallace is Millwall’s top goalscorer in the Championship with five, but only two of those have come from open play, against Rotherham United and Brentford respectively.
Heading into their weekend game with Middlesbrough, The Den outfit find themselves sitting 17th in the second-tier standings, nine points off the top-six.
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“The fact that we’ve not won enough games in a period means the gap starts to widen,” Rowett told South London Press. “We are where we are because we have not won enough games, it’s simple as that.
“We’re caught in that mid-ground at the moment. We’ve not lost a lot of games, but we’ve not won lots – and unfortunately that means you end up in no man’s land. We’ve got to fight to turn some of those decent performances into winning ones. The only thing that does that is goals, the only thing that does that is taking opportunities.
“We’ve probably had opportunities in every single game where I can argue the opposition has been more clinical than us or shown more quality than us in those final third areas.
“It’s something we’ve got to get better at. We’ve also got to maintain scoring in different ways – last season we were very, very strong from set-pieces and this season we haven’t been as dangerous.”
Given the amount of firepower Rowett has at his disposal, he has every right to feel aggrieved with his squad.
With the likes of Wallace, Connor Mahoney, Mason Bennett, Parrott and Smith in their ranks, there’s no way Millwall should already be nine points off the play-offs.
Whilst injuries have certainly played their part in Millwall’s dip in form, individually, players have to improve – and they must start taking chances, or a season that started with so much promise could quickly turn to one of disappointment for Rowett’s side.