MILLWALL’S GARY ROWETT NAMECHECKS MIDDLESBROUGH AND WEST BROM AS HE OFFERS CHAMPIONSHIP VERDICT

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Millwall came into the new season with fairly optimistic expectations, hoping that they could push towards the play-offs this year. 

Although the Lions aren’t doing badly as they sit 13th in the league, having lost half of their opening ten games of the season, there is definitely work to be done if the club are going to get their top ten finish.

Whilst there are the teams you’d expect to see up at the top like Sheffield United and Norwich City, there have been some curveballs so far with sides that had poor seasons last year sitting in the top positions.

Similarly, when looking at the bottom end of the table and seeing teams such as Middlesbrough, West Brom and Huddersfield Town after good seasons last year is a sign of what the Championship is like as Gary Rowett told News at Den: “It’s an unpredictable league and it’s a very even league.”

With that in mind though, the Millwall boss doesn’t expect the current standings to stay the same with a long season ahead and expects to see changes to the table in the coming weeks as he said: “I think you see some teams have a good spell and then drop away.

“I think you see some teams like ourselves have done it consistently over the last few years where we don’t quite get the start we want, but we slowly edge away at teams and over the course of the season we’re in or pretty close to the right positions.

“When you see some really good teams like Middlesbrough and West Brom that are below us, you expect those sorts of teams to be pushing quite hard to climb the table.

“It’s the same as always, it’s competitive. You expect the teams with parachute payments to be up and around it, that’s just the expectation because of the size of their squads and their quality. It’s up to the rest of us to crack on.

“It’s interesting isn’t it? I think it’s perception. I read somewhere that people were gushing about Luton’s start and we’re on the same points as them. It’s all about perceptions and it’s all about patience. It’s about where you are at 30 games and where you are at the end of the season.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to league positions, it’s more about performances. We know we’ve got to improve aspects of our game and that’ll be our focus.”

The Verdict:

The Championship is a very unpredictable league and it makes it a very open competition with chances for everyone to succeed in the division.

However, as Rowett says, you would expect to see some of the better teams that are currently at the bottom rising up the league soon, not least because they will probably make managerial changes if their form doesn’t improve.

You can see why Rowett isn’t keen to focus too much on the league table at the moment as it is still early days in the grand scheme of things.

However, whether he wants to look at position or not, if Millwall are to get a top six finish this year, they will definitely need to step up their form.

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