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Gary Rowett hails performance as Millwall ease into Carabao Cup second round

Preston North End v Millwall – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Millwall boss Gary Rowett hailed a “comfortable performance” as the Lions eased into the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 victory over League Two Crawley.

Scott Malone and Matt Smith were on target either side of an own goal by Jordan Tunnicliffe, while Sam Ashford replied in this behind-closed-doors match at the Broadfield Stadium.

Left wing-back Malone – signed on a season-long loan from Derby – put Millwall on their way early on and Rowett felt his men went about their task in an excellent manner.

He said: “Our mentality was excellent. It was a comfortable performance, we moved the ball really well and we scored three really good goals.

“We need more goals from wing-backs. I’m thoroughly pleased with the performance – some bits I wasn’t pleased with, but not many.”

Only Cardiff scored more goals from set-pieces than Millwall last season and, with two coming from set plays in this game, Rowett added: “It’s nice to have options.

“The back three were really composed and it’s our aim to turn games when we win 1-0 into more convincing wins.”

Rowett was pleased that striker Smith – who was top scorer last season with 14 goals in his first campaign for the club – came through the 90 minutes.

He added: “It was good that Smith got the minutes and we did a professional job. When we were a bit sloppy it was the only time we gave ourselves a problem.”

This was Crawley’s first home defeat since head coach John Yems took charge in early December last year, and Yems was disappointed at the manner of the performance.

He said: “It’s disappointing to lose the game like we did. We got back in it at 2-1 when Sam Ashford scored, but Millwall are a Championship side and you can’t afford not to be 100 per cent on your game.

“Millwall are good at what they do to be fair to them and they kept the ball better than us – I hope they get promoted.”

As well as calling up Ashford, Yems gave debuts to defender Tony Craig and midfielder Tyler Frost, while 20-year-old goalkeeper Tom McGill, on loan from Brighton, replaced the injured Glenn Morris.

Added Yems: “Millwall are a very good side and it was a compliment to our lads that we didn’t go under.

“It’s nice to be back playing and it’s all about the next game. It was a disappointing result but there are very fine margins. We gave away silly goals in my opinion.”