Sheffield Wednesday star blames Millwall loss on lapse in concentration

It is one thing knowing the opposition's strengths and where their threat will come from. It is quite another stopping it.

Sunday, 18th August 2019, 10:04 am
Updated Sunday, 18th August 2019, 11:06 pm

Sheffield Wednesday spent hours on the training ground practising defending free-kicks and corners in preparation for the trip to Millwall.

They dealt with the majority of set pieces and stood up well to the Lions direct, physical approach at The Den.

But the Owls were undone from a corner in the 37th minute when Keiren Westwood flapped from an excellent Connor Mahoney delivery, allowing Matt Smith to head home from close range at the back post.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Owls midfielder Massimo Luongo

Tom Lees, the Wednesday captain, said: "We worked on it (set plays) and we knew that was what we would face.

"We knew set plays would be their strength and I am disappointed we conceded one.

"We have to deal with all of them, not just 99 per cent of them."

Lee Bullen's side exerted plenty of pressure in the second half following Jed Wallace's dismissal but struggled to break down a spirited, hard-working, well-organised Millwall outfit.

"I thought we controlled the game even with 11," said Lees. "We moved the ball from side to side and they were just sat inside the box but we couldn't find a breakthrough.

"If you give a goal away, you have a mountain to climb here (Millwall) because that's what they love. They love having something to hang on to.

"To be fair to them, they defended their box for their lives.

"We knew it would be a set play if they were going to cause us problems and it ended up being that.

"I thought we defended the majority of them well but we got caught on one and it gave them something to hold on to."When they are camped in their 18-yard box, it is not easy to break down.

"On another day, one drops to us or we take one of our chances.

"We went right to the last minute trying to nick something and nobody can fault us for not giving it our all to try and get that equaliser.

"But like I say, if you give them something to hold on to, you make it more difficult for yourselves.”