Millwall prolonged Coventry City’s winless run in SkyBet League One to 13 games as they prevailed at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday afternoon. Jake Cooper’s scruffy finish separated the two sides at the break, but Steve Morison ensured the points would be heading back to East London with his side’s second goal on 79 minutes. The Lions now sit just two points outside of the play-offs whilst Coventry remain eight points adrift of safety.
With regards to the first half, I actually felt that it was one of the better periods of recent weeks but I guess that doesn’t take much. We restricted Millwall to few chances and our midfield stood up to the physicality of their counterparts. However, as we already know, our cutting edge in the final third is pretty much non-existent. George Thomas actually made some positive contributions in the build-up as did both Stuart Beavon and Marcus Tudgay, but Jordan Archer wasn’t really rested.
Our best chance of the half fell to Farrend Rawson and he was unlucky to have his header booked off the line, but again, those things go against you when you’re struggling. Despite Millwall failing to create too many openings, I was always wary of their height advantage at set pieces and we crumbled from a corner again. They took the approach of crowding out Lee Burge and Jake Cooper had the simple task of bundling the ball over the line after he crept unnoticed at the back post. Our inability to do the basics correlates directly with our league position – teams don’t have to do an awful lot to get three points from us.
The second half was similar in many aspects – we looked to match the away side in terms of possession, but without ever looking a real threat. We didn’t get the bounce of the ball on a few occasions where Millwall managed to get a block on, but we didn’t create enough. That then makes it simple for opposition teams to come here and pick us off. Having no goal scorers coupled with a tendency to concede sloppy goals is a recipe for disaster.
I do prefer Burge in the goalkeeping department, although I have said all season we needed a more experienced head in between the posts. What he was doing for Morison’s goal I will never know – it really was a gift. It’s just incredibly frustrating writing about the same things every week. Whilst we are still mathematically in the fight, myself and any other sane City supporter will question where wins are coming from. We would need to hit promotion form and that is highly improbable given the squad we have at our disposal.
There’s plenty of problems going back to the summer where Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus failed to recruit. Of course, it’s difficult with a meagre budget but it was similar last season and the gamble took on loanees payed off. This season, nothing is working and Russell Slade found life tricky in the January transfer window. We needed a big target man at the very least and it didn’t happen – any signings we bring in now will be too late I feel.
We have a great opportunity on Tuesday night to set up a trip to Wembley and I really hope we take it. Our league form is horrendous but our supporters deserve a day out in a cup final. Granted, it isn’t a competition many of us particularly care about, but it would be a form of release for many to experience that occasion. Our status in League One is at serious risk and it would provide a brief distraction. It won’t be easy, however, because I would say that Wycombe are a better outfit than we are.
These are really desperate times. It’s likely that we will be a fourth tier team next season and nothing looks like improving.
Lee Burge – 4
Kevin Foley – 5
Nathan Clarke – 6
Farrend Rawson – 5
Ryan Haynes – 5
George Thomas – 6
Andy Rose – 5
Callum Reilly – 4
Kyel Reid – 5
Marcus Tudgay – 4
Stuart Beavon – 4
Jodi Jones – 4
Vladimir Gadzhev – 4
Coventry City: Burge, Foley, Clarke (C), Rawson, Haynes, G. Thomas, Rose (Gadzhev 80), Reilly, Reid, Tudgay (Jones 63), Beavon.
Unused Substitutes: Charles-Cook, Turnbull, Di. Kelly-Evans, Bigirimana, Lameiras.
Millwall: Archer, Craig (C), Williams, Thompson (Abdou 45), Gregory (Onyedinma 72), Romeo, Wallace (Ferguson 82), Webster, Morison, O’ Brien, Cooper.
Unused Substitutes: King, Cummings, Martin, Worrall.
Attendance: 8,764 (1,031 away)