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Gary Rowett hails ‘real talent’ Zian Flemming after Millwall beat Blackpool

Zian Flemming has been praised by his manager (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Zian Flemming has been praised by his manager (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Gary Rowett believes Zian Flemming can mould Millwall into genuine promotion contenders after the Lions clinched a crucial 2-1 win against Blackpool at the Den.

Dutch attacker Flemming, who joined the club from Fortuna Sittard in the summer, opened the scoring in the first half before Benik Afobe grabbed the winner for the hosts.

Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino had levelled for the Tangerines but the Lions recovered from Wednesday’s defeat against QPR to move two points away from the play-off places.

Millwall splashed out almost £2million for attacker Flemming and boss Rowett says the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old.

He said: “When you see him in training, he can do whatever he wants.

“He’s a real talent – he’s still adjusting to the league, but he’s a player that can link play, he’s intelligent, strong and can head the ball.

“Him, Benik (Afobe) and George (Honeyman) combine well.”

Millwall had lost four of their last five games heading into the contest and Rowett is aware his side need to improve.

“I know we’ve got more to offer, I know we can do better,” he said.

“We’ve just got to show a bit more accountability and responsibility.

“I always start with myself, and what I can do better to improve.

“In the second half we moved the ball well, got into great positions. We’re not in a position like some teams where we can just turn up and hope that individuals will have the quality to win us games – we have to work hard as a team to do it.”

The result leave Blackpool 19th and just two points clear of the relegation zone and boss Michael Appleton said: “I can’t accuse the players of lacking character and commitment, it was there in abundance.

“It was a frustrating game, but I don’t think Millwall did enough in terms of outstanding play to get the opportunities and score the goals that they did.

“The biggest issue I have at the minute is that we’re not turning opportunities into chances. What I mean by that is that given the areas of the pitch we get into and the opportunities we have to potentially set up a tap-in in front of goal, we should be creating more.

“We need more quality in front of goal. We have to be better.

“As long as we continue to get into the right areas, eventually we’ll start to show our quality and pick the right passes.”