FOOTBALL: THE SKY blues were beaten in every department by Millwall, those are the harsh words of manager Russell Slade after watching his side fall to a fourth successive defeat in League One.
A goal in either half by Jake Cooper and Steve Morison earned play-off chasing Millwall a deserved 2-0 win at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
It now means Slade’s side have gone 13 games without a win and remain eight points adrift from safety, although they do have a game in hand over two of their relegation rivals.
“Player for player they were better than us, overall in every department,” said Slade.
“As much of the ball we had, which we did in-between the two boxes, we lacked that bit of ruthlessness or quality
“Of course it frustrates me, it is a horrendous run at the minute and if we go a goal down there are times we look fragile. We played too safe, we didn’t penetrate enough against a strong, physical side who are not there to be rolled over.
“It’s a huge time for the club, a defining time for the club and we’ve got to be better than what we are. We’re trying to get the best out of the group we’ve got because they’re the one’s battling for us.”
Defender Ryan Haynes tested Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer in the sixth minute with a curling right-footed shot but neither find their rhythm in the early stages of the first half.
On 22 minutes Marcus Tudgay had a shot blocked while Haynes came close again moments later but again he failed to get enough on his shot to really trouble Archer.
At the other end Lee Burge did well to keep out Steve Morison shot but from the resultant corner Jake Cooper bundled the ball home from close range to give the visitors a 33rd minutes lead.
City almost found an immediate response but Farrend Rawson’s downward header from a Callum Reilly delivery bounced up and over the bar, while Tudgay’s curling effort whistle narrowly wide of the target.
Millwall could have doubled their lead shortly before half-time when Lee Gregory med Aiden O’Brien’s cross but his headed was superbly saved by Burge who denied the Millwall man a 12th league goal of the season.
The home support thought their side had pulled level four minutes after the break but stand-in skipper Nathan Clarke could only hit his volley into the side netting.
Chances came and went for both sides with Clarke denying Morison a certain goal but the Millwall man did find the back of the net with just over ten minutes remaining.
Burge did well again to keep out an effort by Fred Onyedinma but Morison was quickest to react and poked the ball from close range to seal all three points for the visitors.
“Millwall got their goals at great times but we are not helping ourselves,” Slade added. “We are finding it difficult to get a goal.
“We need to do that because goals lift you as a team, and we certainly need that lift. We are not getting it often enough and the numbers don’t lie, we have only won four games this season.
“Basic defending on the corner was poor, and then we lose the first contact on the header, he has ran at the back two and we have not recovered. Burge makes a save and we’re still favourites to get the ball but don’t.”
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