Millwall youngster shines in extensive cameo appearance against Sheffield United

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Gary Rowett has been excited by what Romain Esse has shown off the bench since joining up with the first-team squad

UP until Saturday afternoon, Romain Esse had been limited to short appearances off the bench in the Championship.

The 17-year-old made his debut in stoppage time against Watford on Boxing Day before playing the final seven minutes of Millwall’s win against Rotherham United on New Year’s Day.

However, manager Gary Rowett subbed Esse on for the final 30 minutes of the Lions’ FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United, giving him an extended period to show what he is capable of against a top Championship side.

Supporters were impressed, choosing him as NewsAtDen‘s Man of the Match for his exciting performance against the Blades. Rowett saw some huge positives too, highlighting how the youngster has developed since coming into the first-team squad.

“Sometimes in these games you have to try and find a balance,” he said after Saturday’s defeat.

“You could argue that we didn’t find a balance today because we lost 2-0, but part of Romaine’s development is getting a little bit longer on the pitch, and that’s exactly why he needed half an hour.

“I thought that in the first ten minutes he looked a little bit tentative and then he grew into those moments, he started to get a little bit more confidence. He took the ball inside a couple of times really, really nicely and maybe needed a better final pass.

“That was kind of emblematic of the game. There were a couple of times in the second half, I think Zian [Flemming] had one where he put Vogi in and he’s one v. one with the ‘keeper. We just make a poor pass, and Romain had the same where he could’ve put him in.

“It’s just those moments where things sometimes don’t go your way. If we want to be a good side, we have to improve those little bits because we didn’t do that well enough today.”

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