Gary Rowett: George Saville showed just why we brought him back

Millwall v Bristol City – Sky Bet Championship – The Den
(Image credit: Jonathan Brady)

Millwall manager Gary Rowett believes the quality of George Saville’s winner in his side’s 2-1 victory over Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup showed just why he brought the midfielder back to the club.

Saville returned to The Den during the summer, following three seasons at Middlesbrough, and his strike, which helped the Lions into the second round, was the first of his second spell.

Rowett said: “That’s why we brought Sav to the club because he has that ability to arrive in the right place, but also have the presence of mind to just adjust his body and find the corner.

“It was a terrific finish, when you watch it back, it was a really difficult finish, so I was really pleased about that.

“I thought we then started to look quite comfortable in the first half.

“I actually think the sending-off probably made the game a lot harder in some ways – I don’t think it should have been a red.”

Portsmouth led in the fourth minute when Reeco Hackett-Fairchild fired in a powerful finish, but Scott Malone levelled from a rebound, after Alex Bass kept out Jed Wallace’s shot.

Saville struck the decisive goal after 27 minutes with a well-taken volley from Wallace’s cross, while Pompey’s chances were not helped by Callum Johnson’s sending-off early in the second half.

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley said: “I don’t know what he (the referee) has seen.

“I’ve spoken to him and he’s a good ref, an experienced ref and I know there are supporters who are in the stadium for the first time in a long time, but when a tackle is made, if you’re 100 per cent sure, still take a moment.

“Gary Rowett next to me said ‘wow, that’s never a sending-off.

“It’s definitely not a booking and it’s never, ever a sending-off in a million years.”

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