What Millwall boss Gary Rowett said about Sunderland and Tony Mowbray ahead of Championship fixture

Millwall boss Gary Rowett has praised Sunderland’s fantastic fan base ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Stadium of Light – but has played down the fixture’s importance.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Millwall boss Gary Rowett (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Following a 4-2 victory over Preston before the World Cup break, The Lions are sixth in the Championship and could climb to fourth with a win on Wearside.

Yet, with Sunderland just four points behind Millwall and sitting 15th, Rowett is trying to keep things in perspective.

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“I think I said it about three or four weeks ago, we had another game and that felt like a huge game, that’s what I said at the time,” he told NewsAtDen.

“Every game is a huge game in the Championship. When you’re the only team playing and you’ve got a game in hand, the importance of it becomes magnified publicly.

"For us, it’s exactly the same. We focus on the game, we take the game on, we try and win it.”

Sunderland also claimed an important win at Birmingham before the World Cup break, yet Tony Mowbray’s side will be looking to improve their home form when the season resumes.

The Black Cats have won just twice in nine matches at the Stadium of Light this campaign, drawing four and losing three.

Still, Rowett is expecting a difficult test.

“We’re respectful that we’re facing a team who, at home, have a fantastic fan base and a great atmosphere which you’ll always try to use just like we do. Then they’ve got an experienced manager in Tony

“We respect that, but then we go in there to try and be competitive and get a result. If we do that at the end of the day, at the end of the game I’ll look at the league table and go ‘oh, that’s quite nice’. Other than that, it won’t mean too much.

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“For us, it’s not a big game, it’s just as big as every other game, but I get the rhetoric because we’re the only game on, we’re in the play-offs and we’ve got a game in hand of course.

“It does add significance externally, really.”