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‘We don’t run out of character’ says Lions boss after dramatic finale at Swansea

Millwall manager Gary Rowett liked his team’s character (PA)
Millwall manager Gary Rowett liked his team’s character (PA)

Gary Rowett was full of praise for his Millwall side’s second major fightback in four days as two own goals earned them an unlikely 2-2 draw at Swansea.

The Lions overturned a two-goal deficit against Coventry at the weekend to win 3-2 in south-east London.

Swansea were cruising on Tuesday night, only for Ben Cabango and Nathan Wood to find their own net in added time to gift the Lions a draw.

Rowett admitted after the latest comeback: “It felt like the game had gone for us on 90 minutes, but we were still getting good chances. They had 18 shots to our 16, so we still had plenty of opportunities on goal.

“I was an assistant manager once when we were leading 5-2 with eight minutes to play and we ended up losing 6-5, so anything can happen.

“Even though they outpassed us and outplayed us, we hit the bar twice and we should have had two penalties. We had just as many good moments as they did.

“We want to be the team that keeps going to the last whistle. If we run out of time we run out of time, but we don’t run out of character and effort in trying to turn the game around.

“I think teams will be fearful of our determination, but not our starts to games – that’s pretty clear. I think we will improve and we’re a team that will be hard to beat. But we’ve got to be more solid.”

“We’re staying overnight because we’ve got to go to Norwich on Friday night, so I think I’ll let the boys have one beer after that.

“They deserve it for their effort at the end of the game, but I think while they are sipping it, they’ll have to think about showing a little bit more belief. That’s the important bit.”

Ryan Manning gave Swansea the perfect start with a goal inside a minute and then Michael Obafemi doubled the lead in the 12th minute. Swansea dominated the first half, but Millwall hit back after the break.

Swans boss Russell Martin was unhappy with one of the players on his bench who punched the ball back into play to help Millwall score the equaliser five minutes into added time.

“The ball goes out for a throw-in and one of our players not involved punches the ball back on the pitch. I’m absolutely furious about it and I’ve told him,” he said.

“That just can’t happen. He punched the ball back to them to take a throw-in quickly and we concede a goal.

“It’s those little moments that make a big difference. Whether you’re on the bench, or whether you’re not involved, you need to add value to your team somehow. That’s certainly not adding value.

“For 93 or 94 minutes, we were by far and away the best team. Dominant, aggressive, everything we got criticised for against Blackburn, and rightly so in a lot of senses.

“I think the boys put it right tonight. We should have scored more goals. Millwall only had one shot on target before two of our defenders scored own goals.

“We should make more of our own chances in the final third. I have to take responsibility for it, I’m in charge of the mentality of the team.

“Even though we have so many young men on the pitch, we have to do better than we did.”