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Gary Rowett admits Millwall need ‘big week’ to preserve play-off hopes

Preston North End v Millwall – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Millwall manager Gary Rowett thinks his side’s play-off hopes will likely be over if they fail to beat Swansea on Tuesday.

The Lions are five points off the top six after limping to a 0-0 draw at relegation battlers Barnsley on Saturday and, having lost their first game of the restart against Derby last week, they have looked off the pace.

They could have taken more at Oakwell had Shane Ferguson’s first-half free-kick not hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced to safety, but they did not really work Reds goalkeeper Jack Walton.

Rowett knows the importance of their home game against the Swans.

“We should have won the game but lacked a bit of quality in that final action, it doesn’t seem to be quite there at the moment,” Rowett said.

“It was a game we should have gone on to win.

“At the moment, we have to win games, we have to try and achieve something.

“We have started so well since we came in that we have given ourselves a platform to at least go and achieve something which maybe is a little bit ahead of schedule. Now we are here we have to give it our best chance. We had two cleared off the line, we have hit the bar.

“We are at a point where we need to find momentum. We need a big week, we certainly need to go and win on Tuesday.

“If we win on Tuesday we at least give ourselves an opportunity, if we don’t win on Tuesday I think it is going to be tough.

“My mindset is we wanted to give ourselves a chance, we were always going to be an outside bet.”

Barnsley slipped to the bottom of the table after Luton’s surprise win at Swansea.

They were good value for their point and had the better chances after the break, but it was always destined to end goalless at Oakwell.

Boss Gerhard Struber is feeling upbeat about the performance and said there is “no time to cry” at their situation.

“We have no influence over other results,” said the Austrian. “We have seven games for our chance, if we bring the same performance like today and a good style in transition then it will be difficult for the next opponent.

“Seven games and we have to pick up points. There is no time to cry, we have created a good mood.

“I am happy with the performance, I am happy with the point. Hopefully the results from the other teams are kind for us.

“It is not in our hands. We have many games for a chance.

“This gives everyone a good feeling. My boys did a very good job with a high focus but what we need is more control of the ball so we find more chances.

“Today was difficult, but we also had a big chance through Jacob Brown. It is 0-0, one point. I hope we can pick enough points in the future.”