'Excited' Millwall boss relishing Sheffield United and Burnley tests ahead of tough double-header

Millwall boss Gary Rowett has called on his side to embrace the challenge of facing the Championship’s top two teams in the space of four days – starting with Sheffield United on Saturday.
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Rowett’s men host the Blades on Saturday lunchtime before a Tuesday night clash with leaders Burnley, who have lost only three times in all competitions all season after relegation from the Premier League last term.

Millwall are seventh in the table and a point off sixth-placed Watford, with two games in hand. And Rowett said of the Blades and Burnley games: “You can look at it and go: ‘Oh, those are hard games’ or you can look at it and go: ‘Bring them on’.

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"They are the sort of challenges you want as a team, these are the sort of matches you want at home. They are the sort of games that our fans will certainly get up for and get behind the team.

“Alternatively you have got to be at your very, very best. It’s the same old scenario for these type of games – but when is that ever not the scenario? You go to Coventry, who have won something like one in eight or nine games, and you don’t quite perform with the same energy and spark as you did at QPR and get beaten.

“It doesn’t matter who you play. We went to Huddersfield and didn’t quite perform with quite the right spark and got beaten. We went to Watford – nobody gave us a chance – and we beat them twice. It’s what you bring to the game, what mentality you bring, rather than who your opponents are and what do people think.

Paul Heckingbottom, the manager of Sheffield United, is greeted by Millwall's Gary Rowett at The Den: Paul Terry/SportimagePaul Heckingbottom, the manager of Sheffield United, is greeted by Millwall's Gary Rowett at The Den: Paul Terry/Sportimage
Paul Heckingbottom, the manager of Sheffield United, is greeted by Millwall's Gary Rowett at The Den: Paul Terry/Sportimage

“You heard it mentioned in the press conference the other day that these are two ‘season-defining games’. They aren’t really, are they? They are the next two games. It sounds boring and a cliche, but that’s the mentality.

“We’ve got to go and do what we do at home and see where that takes us. I’m excited. I think the group will be. Let’s see if we can bounce back quickly.”

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