Millwall manager and former Stoke City boss Gary Rowett has claimed to News at Den that there is no special meaning behind today’s game against his old side as he returns to the Bet365 Stadium.
The Lions boss was previously in charge of the Potters back in the 2018/19 season in what was a largely unsuccessful spell at the helm of the Stoke-on-Trent outfit which led to Rowett being sacked in January 2019 after an extremely sizeable transfer outlay which failed to yield good results.
Since then the 47-year-old has gone on to bounce back with his current side and has done a solid job at the New Den since taking over from Neil Harris some two years ago.
Speaking ahead of today’s game against his former employers, Rowett was quick to play down any suggestions that this game could have any special meaning for him personally:
“I feel the same as I do for any other away game, quite frankly. It’s another game for us, it doesn’t really matter where it is.
“There’s no fans there so it’s not going to feel like there’s any extra meaning for me. And there wouldn’t be anyway.”
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The Lions currently sit eight points off the play-offs at the time of writing and will be bidding to keep their faint play-off hopes alive with a victory over the Potters this afternoon.
Stoke City is part of Rowett’s past and he has earned the right to brush off any claims of their being bad blood between him and his former employers ahead of today’s game.
The job he has done at Millwall has been admirable and he is really pushing to continue on from the good work that was done by Harris at the New Den.
It’s a shame that they are likely to miss out on the play-offs this term as at some stages of the season they had appeared to have been genuine contenders for a top six place.
For now the aim will be to finish the campaign strongly before aiming for the same objective in the following season as they look to improve year on year.