Kenny. You may have not swallowed your pride on everything, but at least you have made a start. Saturdays dramatic draw away at Burnley saw the Lions return to a 4-4-2 formation despite the suspension of our only out and out left winger Chris Taylor, this saw Scott Malone fill in on the wing.
I’m sure ‘Wall fans would’ve happily took a point to stop the run of defeats, but we could have had so much more.
The Lions made the best possible start after three minutes with good hold up play from Andy Keogh saw Liam Trotter fire home for his 3rd league goal, then ran to the corner to add another tribute to his dancing catalogue, this time it was “gangnam style”.
Yes Trotts we know you can score, but its like watching Carlton Banks. But after that slowly but surely Burnley made chances through Junior Stanislas hitting the woodwork and Chris McCann going close. The Clarets equalised on 16 minutes after poor positioning from David Forde allowed Ben Mee to head home from a Stanislas corner.
Despite this, the Lions pushed on with James Henry hitting the woodwork, and then Scott Malone hit a wonder-shot which was somehow pushed onto the bar by Clarets goalie Lee Grant. Burnley finished the half ahead when Charlie Austin’s long range header looped over Forde just before half time.
Poor positioning again by Forde will leave Lions fans asking why Maik Taylor was dropped. The second half gave the major match talking point. Stanislas saw his thumping drive ruled out for offside on 64 minutes after referee Craig Pawson overruled his linesman’s initial decision to give the goal because of Martin Paterson being offside in the build up play.
Millwall continued to go forward with Chris Wood and James Henry coming close. It was getting so desperate for a goal that Danny Shittu even saw a 25 yarder tipped over by Grant. Darius “HULK” Henderson was brought on with 10 minutes remaining and dramatically got an equaliser in injury time after chesting down a Trotter pass, firing home from four yards. He almost grabbed a unbelievable winner, but he saw his header hit the bar, bounce on the line and then cleared. I’m sure Jackett would have taken a point from the game.
But this game yet again highlights a weakness, the defence.
The Lions have conceded the joint most goals in the Championship, 17. Not being able to keep the same back four game after game will be the main factor in this. Plus the poor 4-3-3 formation didn’t help relinquish the pressure on the defence.
One thing I’m sure Lions fans won’t be happy about is the inclusion of David Forde back in the starting XI. We saw time after time last season Forde’s mistakes costing the team valuable points in a relegation battle, whereas Maik Taylor seemed to calm down the defence, and didn’t make stupid errors a-la Forde. Jackett will have to see sooner or later Forde is not of Championship standard anymore.
One of the bright-lights to come out the game is Liam Trotter. Many fans (including me) were saying he should have been dropped, how ironic that he scores and sets up one in the next game! Maybe we will now see a return to form for Trotts now that he is playing just in the centre, not pushing right.
Slowly,slowly moving in the right direction.