Gary Rowett: Millwall players angry about disrespectful changing room at Reading



Posted Sunday, February 14, 2021 by PA

Gary Rowett: Millwall players angry about disrespectful changing room at Reading

Millwall manager Gary Rowett said his players were angered by poor changing facilities at the Madejski Stadium and that inspired them to their 2-1 victory over Reading.

Alfa Semedo gave Reading a 17th-minute lead with a speculative 35-yard drive after poor Millwall defending.

The Royals seemed set to hang on to their lead in a drab second half but the visitors struck with late goals from substitutes Matt Smith and Mason Bennett.

Millwall’s squad was forced to change in temporary facilities in a concourse between the South and East Stands – opposite the normal dressing rooms in the West Stand.

“We certainly weren’t hoping to hold our team meeting in a concourse that was about minus-eight,” Rowett said.

“All the players felt that it was a tad disrespectful to put us there. But it gave us more motivation and we certainly used that to our advantage.

“No, we weren’t in a caretaker’s shed. It wasn’t quite as good as that.

“If we’d lost the game, I would have said the same thing. I’ve got no real complaints but it was the players who felt aggrieved.”

A Reading spokesman declined to comment but it is believed that most other visiting sides to the Madejski Stadium this season have been afforded the same changing facilities.

Millwall are now unbeaten in six Sky Bet Championship matches.

“Reading are a fantastic team and they’ve got real quality,” Rowett added. “Part of our game plan was to utilise the fact that they had played on Wednesday [lost 3-1 to Brentford].

“They looked to have expended a lot of energy and although they were unfortunate to lose the game late on, we just saw this as an opportunity to start well against them.

“I thought we did that. We hit the bar, pinned Reading back and had some good moments on the edge of their box.

“We just couldn’t find that extra bit of quality we needed. And then we conceded a very poor goal. Mentally, that set us back.

“On this good run, we have started to show a more clinical edge about us. Unless you finish properly, you don’t win games.”

Play-off chasing Reading have lost two home games in a week after an unbeaten seven-match run.

“It is a hard loss. Obviously, we are not happy with the result,” Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said.

“It was a tough one to take, especially because in the first half we played a difficult game against a difficult opponent.

“But we should have scored more goals, which was the key to the game.

“And then, in the second half, we conceded twice and put ourselves in a difficult situation.

“It is not the time to put the blame on somebody. We are all responsible for this result.

“But at the same time, we have been in the same situations in the past – and we have to learn from it.

“We have to grow as a team and we will look to bounce back as soon as possible.

“We must stop the bleeding in the very next game and get the guys to recover their spirits.

“We are responsible for this and we are responsible for the future.

“This is a very important moment in the season for us and we are all aware of that. We are all accountable.”

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