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Millwall Fans Verdict: Royals Second Best at The Den

The nine-game unbeaten run game to a crushing end on Saturday - and here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points.

Sometimes you just get games like this - as disappointing and deflating as that may sound. As Mark Bowen said after the game, we just ‘forgot to play’ and in all honesty Millwall did a very good job on us and had done their homework.

We never got going at all. The only player to really come out with any credit was Pele who was dragged off towards the end of the game for Garath McCleary as we had to chase the game. We defended pretty resolutely, but going forward we lacked any sort of creativity or ideas - which the state of the pitch certainly did not help, even though that should never be an excuse.

The fans turned up in decent numbers but were let down by the performance of the players - which we haven’t said in a very long time. So because of that, I feel we need to look at the bigger picture a bit more, understand this is still a work in progress and we are still in touching distance of the top six too.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the game...

Second best

There is not much else to say really apart from the fact that we were second best pretty much all over the pitch. Millwall are seventh for a reason; they’re a decent team and all know what they are doing.

From our perspective though, it wasn’t great at all - and I think the majority of the fans agreed with that. Poor performances all round cost us the game, John Swift and Ovie Ejaria looked off it all game and that was summed up by Swift missing Reading’s only real clear-cut chance of the game in the second half.

We defended okay, but still lost the second ball for the opening goal which Bowen will not like at all, and the manner in which we gave the ball away for the second will also not please the gaffer - and it definitely didn’t please the Loyal Royals...

Striker issue

We need a new striker, it’s as simple as that. We cannot go two/three months without a similar striker to Lucas Joao or else we will make it even more difficult to make the play-offs.

Neither Sam Baldock nor George Puscas have proved they can play up front on their own in this system which has proved so successful for us in recent weeks, and with Joao out for a while now, Bowen has some serious thinking to do.

Does he revert back to 3-5-2? Or does he go to the owners and plea for another striker? I imagine he is already doing the latter. The fans certainly noticed the absence of Joao and were quick to offer their thoughts on the striker situation after seeing their team produce no shots on target...

No need to panic

Although the performance was bad, and we were well beaten, a large section of the fanbase remained calm and collected offering a more relaxed view on the loss.

Let’s remember we’ve just come out of our biggest unbeaten run since 2012 and we are still a good team, it was just an off day and that can happen from time to time. It’s all about how we react now, and there have been enough signs in my opinion to suggest Bowen will get them to bounce back on Wednesday...

Conclusion

No need to panic at all. We’re still a good team and are still within touching distance of the play-offs if we get a decent result on Wednesday against Forest.

Still moving the right direction and that’s the main thing and it’s all about the reaction and I for one believe we will get it.

URZ