Erol Bulut questioned Cardiff’s mentality after an “unacceptable” second-half performance in their 3-1 defeat against Millwall at The Den.

Jake Cooper’s volley put the Lions in front at the break after Michael Obafemi and Yakou Meite traded goals during an entertaining first half.

However, Neil Harris’ side controlled the second half, limiting the Bluebirds to scraps before Duncan Watmore made sure of things in stoppage time with a cool finish past Ethan Horvath.

The result lifts Millwall into 16th, six points clear of the relegation zone, while Cardiff are now 11th with three games remaining.

And Bulut insists his side need to show a winning mentality in their remaining games.

“Millwall at home are a good team, they are working and fighting and I was satisfied with the first half, but with the second half, I have no words for the second half,” he said.

“Nobody can tell me ‘two days before we had a game and we were tired’, Millwall also played a few days ago.

“The main thing is the mentality, how you go in the game, if you want to change this game, if you want to win this game, what you are expecting from yourself individually.

“I can speak only to my players, but the mentality on the field has to change, especially in the second half.

“Consistency is the biggest problem that we have this season. If it was a little bit different then we would be speaking now about different things.

“It was like day and night. In the first half it was clear that the better team was Cardiff but we conceded two goals and the second half was not acceptable.

“If you have these small mistakes in your game then it is difficult to come back.”

The win is a huge boost for relegation-threatened Millwall and Harris believes his side are proving a lot of people wrong.

“Every man and his dog wanted to tell me that these lads can’t play at The Den,” Harris said.

“They do know how to play at The Den and it was a big thing for me to try and galvanise the football club and bring the terrace and the pitch together.

“It’s down to the players when they go on the pitch, so they take the credit and the praise for it.

“Tuesday night against Leicester was a monumental performance from the players and a special evening, but in some ways I’m more pleased with today because to back it up with such a comprehensive performance is testament to the group’s mentality.

“We looked a lot more confident today with the ball and I think if we had scored the third goal at the start of the second half we could have gone on to score four or five.

“It’s important for the football club to stay at this level.”

Millwall’s secured a second successive Sky Bet Championship victory as they eased their relegation worries with a 3-1 win at home to Cardiff.

Jake Cooper’s volley had given the Lions a 2-1 half-time lead after Michael Obafemi and Yakou Meite had traded goals.

And Neil Harris’ side refused to feel the pressure, with Duncan Watmore making sure of victory in stoppage time.

Ryan Longman, who scored the winner against promotion-chasing Leicester in midweek, produced a dangerous delivery that forced a crucial intervention from Dimitrios Goutas during an entertaining start to proceedings at The Den.

Then, in the ninth minute, Burnley loanee Obafemi’s powerful strike beat goalkeeper Ethan Horvath at his near post to score his second goal since arriving in January.

Cardiff captain Joe Ralls took aim from the edge of the box as the visitors looked to get back on level terms, but his shot was straight at Matija Sarkic.

However, it was 1-1 in the 24th minute when Meite nodded Rubin Colwill’s free-kick into the bottom corner from point-blank range.

Will Finnie waved away Zian Flemming’s penalty appeal after the Dutchman went down inside the area, much to the disgust of Millwall’s vocal home supporters.

The Bluebirds had the chance to add insult to injury in the 43rd minute, but Nat Phillips dragged his strike from the centre of the box wide of the right-hand post.

The hosts had the final say of the half, though, with Lions skipper Cooper firing home a thunderous volley after an intelligent flick-on from Longman.

Horvath made two excellent saves in the space of 10 minutes after the break as Millwall looked to double their lead.

First he denied Longman after the Hull loanee let fly with a left-footed shot from outside the box, and then got down quickly to push Obafemi’s goal-bound effort behind for a corner.

Cooper had the chance to give his side some breathing room from a set-piece in the 62nd minute, only to fire his left-footed strike wide of the right-hand upright.

At the other end, Ralls tried again from range only to see his attempt saved by Sarkic before Cian Ashford caused chaos in the Lions box with a powerful cutback towards the penalty spot.

Flemming almost made sure of things with five minutes remaining, but Horvath was up to the task once again.

Cardiff pushed for an equaliser in the final 10 minutes, but Brooke Norton-Cuffy put Watmore through on goal in stoppage time and he prodded the ball past Horvath to secure a crucial win for Millwall.

Leicester boss Enzo Maresca expects plenty more twists in the Championship promotion race.

The Foxes suffered a wobble in their bid for an instant return to the Premier League after a stunning Ryan Longman strike condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Millwall.

Back-to-back wins had reignited their promotion bid and lifted them back to the top of the pile.

But, while Leeds could only pick up a point at home to Sunderland and stay second, third-placed Ipswich can climb above both if they beat Watford on Wednesday.

“It was a tough night, in the first half we struggled on the ball, we were not clean,” said Maresca.

“They defended very well. We expected in the second half to find more space but they scored a fantastic goal.

“Now is not the time to think too much. Tonight is gone.

“The last games are more or less similar for all the teams. Clubs are trying to survive or go up, the intensity is higher. It’s a problem for us, but for every club.

“If you watch the table yesterday, and tonight, and in two days, you’d go crazy. We have to go game by game.”

The goal arrived on the hour after Wout Faes lost the ball in midfield and Billy Mitchell sent Longman scampering away down the left.

The on-loan Hull winger cut inside Harry Winks before curling a spectacular 25-yard effort past Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Kelechi Iheanacho had the chance to rescue a point in stoppage time but his header was cleared from under the crossbar by Mitchell.

The Lions were in need of the points for different reasons and battled to a first win in five matches to go four points clear of the relegation zone.

Lions boss Neil Harris said: “Firstly, it’s so Millwall-like to lose to Rotherham and Huddersfield, both in the last minute, and then beat the league leaders.

“That’s what this club does. Not just this group. The last 30 years of Millwall Football Club.

“We scored a goal that would win any game at this level. I thought it was an excellent Millwall performance. To play against arguably the best team in the league and limit them to very little was so impressive.

“We’re moving in the right direction. What I’m seeing in the group is a lot of positives.”

Leicester suffered a wobble in their bid for an instant return to the Premier League after a stunning Ryan Longman strike condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Millwall.

Back-to-back wins had reignited the Foxes’ promotion bid and lifted them back to the top of the Championship.

But they slipped up in south London as the Lions, in need of the points for different reasons, battled to a first win in five matches to go four points clear of the relegation zone.

In a huge match at both ends of the table, Leicester’s defeat will have been welcomed by Ipswich and Leeds as the three-horse race for automatic promotion enters the final straight.

Millwall had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute, George Honeyman floating in a free-kick which Longman headed too close to Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen.

Leicester quickly settled, though, and Stephy Mavididi – the late matchwinner against Birmingham on Saturday – should have done better when he was sent through by Yunus Akgun but his touch was too heavy.

Ricardo Pereira’s clever flick then found Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who slipped in Jamie Vardy.

But the 37-year-old former England striker was losing his balance as he got his shot away and Matija Sarkic made a comfortable save.

Dewsbury-Hall, playing as a number 10, took aim from 20 yards but his effort was deflected wide.

Millwall, happy to sit back and let Leicester have the ball, almost snatched the lead on the break before half-time.

Ryan Leonard whipped in a cross from the right and captain Jake Hooper got a firm head on the ball, but it was pushed away by Hermansen.

The goal arrived on the hour and, for Millwall fans at least, it was well worth the wait.

Wout Faes lost the ball in midfield and Billy Mitchell sent Longman scampering away down the left.

The on-loan Hull winger cut inside Harry Winks before curling a spectacular 25-yard effort past Hermansen and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Millwall almost doubled their lead when Michael Obafemi bulldozed his way into a shooting position but Hermansen got down well to save.

Leicester pushed for an equaliser and Pereira got in behind only to see his angled drive blocked by the legs of Sarkic.

They came agonisngly close in stoppage time but were denied by a goal-line clearance from Mitchell to keep out substitute Kelechi Iheanacho’s header.

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter was delighted to have secured a “dirty” win after his side sealed a dramatic 1-0 success against fellow strugglers Millwall.

Substitute Rhys Healey pounced for the Terriers’ late, late winner in added time, one which handed his side a first win in seven games and lifted them out of the Championship drop zone.

A clearly relieved Breitenreiter said: “It’s an absolutely massive win for us, of course.

“It was not easy for us, especially in the first half, after the first 25 minutes or so we created a number of chances, but we just didn’t score.

“When it got so late into the game we still had the team’s belief and that of the supporters, and in the end we got the goal right at the end.

“We said in the pre-match press conference that sometimes you need that dirty win, and we’ve got a dirty win today.

“Now we need some more wins in these last few games.

“I definitely wasn’t satisfied with the first-half performance, and so I spoke to the players at half-time about being brave and maintaining that belief.”

Both teams created decent opportunities in what proved to be an entertaining goalless opening 45 minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Delano Burgzorg and Josh Koroma went closest for the Terriers, while Jake Cooper somehow headed over the top from close range for Millwall.

As the second half progressed and further chances were missed at both ends, it was looking odds-on this one was going to end goalless, until sub Healey finally broke Millwall’s resistance in such dramatic fashion.

It was a cruel blow for Lions boss Neil Harris, whose side have now lost three of their last four games.

They are now just two points clear of the Championship relegation zone and are clearly being dragged into the scrap.

Harris said: “Obviously to lose a game like that so late is a huge disappointment for everyone.

“I thought the players responded quite well to the late defeat at Rotherham the other night.

“There was no lack of application or desire out there I thought.

“But having said that, I do expect to see much more quality from a team at Championship level.

“We know where we are, both on and off the pitch, but overall we need a stronger mentality, particularly late in games like we saw today.

“We had chances, but we can’t just keep giving them up.

“We need to make improvements to the team in the transfer window, clearly.

“Too many times we missed those chances I mention, some of them nigh-on open goals.

“We can control things like that away from a match day, but again today we just didn’t show enough quality and in the end it’s proved costly for us.”

Substitute Rhys Healey was the Huddersfield hero as his stoppage-time goal was enough to secure a dramatic and potentially priceless 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Millwall.

Healey pounced to head home from close range after Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic could only parry Matty Pearson’s effort into his path.

The three points lift the Terriers out of the Championship drop zone.

Millwall, meanwhile, are now just two points clear of the relegation places, and will still be looking over their shoulders after a fourth match without a win.

The Terriers almost struck inside two minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Some excellent work from Sorba Thomas paved the way through for Delano Burgzorg, but the Dutchman’s firm strike was excellently saved by Sarkic.

There was a swift response from Millwall, however.

Billy Mitchell pounced on a loose ball before seeing his shot saved confidently by Lee Nicholls.

The Lions threatened again when George Honeyman rose well to meet Ryan Longman’s cross, only to then direct a header off-target.

There was plenty of enterprise and endeavour in what proved to be an entertaining opening spell, and that despite a swirling wind.

Huddersfield were next to go close when Thomas’ delivery was flicked wide at the near post by Bojan Radulovic.

With Millwall now pressing for an opener, Michael Obafemi almost struck when his acrobatic effort was deflected behind for a corner by midfielder Alex Matos.

Jake Cooper then ought to have registered for the visitors, but he planted a golden headed chance over the crossbar from close range.

As half-time approached the pendulum was beginning to swing back Huddersfield’s way.

Thomas’ 25-yard blockbuster was saved by Sarkic, while Josh Koroma also fired inches over the top with his effort from the edge of the box.

There was a frantic start to the second period.

After a Millwall attack at one end, the Terriers broke quickly.

Radulovic found space and pulled the ball back into the path of Koroma, but he could not find the target from a great position.

David Kasumu then missed another decent opportunity as he fired wide following a tidy one-two with the impressive Koroma.

Back came Neil Harris’ Millwall in this end-to-end clash, with Ryan Leonard lashing over the top when he ought to have done better with options around him.

As the 70-minute mark passed, both sides then appeared to run out of steam, with tired bodies and heavy legs clearly evident.

Huddersfield’s Polish defender Michal Helik threw himself at a cross from Brodie Spencer, but he was thwarted by a last-ditch block.

After that, Huddersfield sub Healey went close to notching a winner, before then pouncing to finally do the business in predatory style right at the death.

John Swift’s penalty rescued a point for play-off chasing West Brom as they extended their unbeaten run to seven league games with a 1-1 draw at Millwall.

The Lions controlled the first half and were a goal ahead at the break after a fine finish from Duncan Watmore.

However, Swift converted a penalty to ensure the Baggies sealed a seventh game unbeaten in all competitions for the first time since their 2019/20 Championship campaign.

A lively pre-match atmosphere intensified ahead of kick-off as West Brom’s players took the knee to a chorus of boos from the home fans.

The Den got even louder when referee James Bell waved away appeals for handball after Kyle Bartley blocked George Honeyman’s cross inside the box.

Zian Flemming won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 17th minute having surged straight through the Baggies’ defence. However, his driven effort from the resulting set-piece deflected behind for a corner.

The pressure finally told four minutes later when Watmore pounced on a loose ball before calmly stroking it past Baggies goalkeeper Alex Palmer to give the hosts the lead.

Carlos Corberan’s side were struggling to deal with Millwall’s direct approach and it should have been 2-0 when Michael Obafemi went through on goal from a long ball but his effort was straight at Palmer.

Watmore almost turned provider with 10 minutes left of the half, orchestrating some neat play on the edge of the box before feeding Billy Mitchell, who fired wide from close range.

The visitors finally got on the front foot as the half drew to a close but former Millwall favourite Jed Wallace scuffed his shot after being picked out by Grady Diangana.

Corberan’s side maintained that pressure at the start of the second half, whipping several dangerous balls into the box and controlling possession.

Watmore missed a golden opportunity to give his side a two-goal cushion in the 57th minute, blasting the ball over the bar from the centre of the box.

Obafemi was fouled just outside the area as the Lions appeared to retake control of the clash and moments later Honeyman forced a desperate block from Conor Townsend.

However, Millwall were made to pay for missed opportunities in the 67th minute when Diangana appeared to be tripped by Joe Bryan inside the penalty area.

Bell pointed to the penalty spot and Swift made no mistake, firing the ball into the bottom-left corner.

The Baggies were almost ahead moments later after Alex Mowatt was picked out on the edge of the box by Tom Fellows but his strike did not trouble Millwall stopper Matija Sarkic.

Neither side created a clear-cut chance during a quiet end to a fiery encounter in South London.

Tottenham loanee Japhet Tanganga is turning himself into a hero under Millwall manager Neil Harris after his late header snatched a crucial victory over fellow Sky Bet Championship strugglers Birmingham.

It was a second goal in Lions colours for Tanganga, 24, who scored the first goal of his senior career in Harris’ first game back in charge at Southampton two weeks ago.

Millwall have now won three of their four games under Harris, who has quickly turned around their form to open up a five-point gap between them and the relegation zone.

Harris said: “Japh’s got great pedigree, he’s got a great CV in terms of games at the top level and playing in Europe, and things like that.

“It’s slightly different here for a centre-half and sometimes you have to be a different player here, and the reason I’m at the football club is to try and teach the players what a Millwall player looks like, whether that’s a goalkeeper or a centre-half or a centre-forward.

“All I said to Japh was – not complicated his game – just to make your decisions and I’ll support you, but you can be as aggressive as you like.

“A couple of his tackles were a little bit dubious here against Watford and away at Southampton in the first five minutes, but he shows that he’s buying into it.

“Ultimately, he’s headed the ball a lot (in both boxes) and to be a good Millwall centre-half you have to do that.”

Millwall started the better side, with Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy having to make good saves to deny George Honeyman and Jake Cooper in the first 20 minutes.

Jay Stansfield was then denied by Matija Sarkic just before half-time and hit a great chance wide early in the second half.

He then felt he should have been awarded a penalty after 63 minutes when Millwall’s Joe Bryan appeared to hold him back from Juninho Bacuna’s corner.

The Lions wildly celebrated when their winner came in the 90th minute as Tanganga rose to head in George Saville’s corner.

Birmingham remain only one point above the bottom three and caretaker boss Mark Venus has just one point from four games since taking the reins after manager Tony Mowbray temporarily stepped aside for medical reasons.

Venus, whose side could drop below third-from-bottom Huddersfield if they beat West Brom on Sunday, said on the Blues’ penalty shout: “I don’t want to sit here and pick holes in officials.

“They are what they are in this country and I’m sure everyone has their own opinion of them.

“Everyone has their own opinion of what happened, the incident, and they can make their own mind up.

“I think in the second half we got on top.

“I think in the first half we were too timid, we didn’t influence, we didn’t hurt their goal enough and I think in the second half we had a lot more purpose, more intensity.

“We took the game to them and we had some opportunities to hit the target, to score, to shoot, and we squandered them, really.

“I think they’ve got the stomach for the fight – they showed that in the second half.

“I think they just have to learn to do the basics a bit better and learn to make the right decisions.”

Japhet Tanganga headed in a 90th-minute winner as Millwall snatched a vital 1-0 victory over fellow Sky Bet Championship strugglers Birmingham.

The Lions have won three of their four games since Neil Harris returned to the club for a second spell as manager, although they had to withstand some heavy pressure from the Blues in the second half at The Den.

But a dogged display was eventually rewarded as Millwall opened up a five-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone and left Birmingham still just one point above the bottom three.

Millwall had the game’s first big chance in the 11th minute when George Honeyman played a one-two with Duncan Watmore to go through on goal, but his attempted dinked finish was blocked by John Ruddy.

It came in the middle of a good spell for the Lions, with the Birmingham goalkeeper and captain again coming to his side’s rescue when he clawed away an effort from opposing skipper Jake Cooper.

Ruddy was fortunate, however, when he was beaten to the ball, following a ricochet off Michael Obafemi, by Watmore whose header dropped comfortably wide.

Another Birmingham header then went unpunished when a loose headed clearance by Marc Roberts dropped for Zian Flemming, who could only shoot tamely at Ruddy from outside the area.

It took the Blues 41 minutes to muster a chance of their own when Koji Miyoshi’s through ball played in Jay Stansfield and his shot from a tricky angle needed tipping away by Matija Sarkic.

Another opening for the visitors quickly followed when Alex Pritchard sent an effort wide from just outside the box as neither team could break the deadlock before half-time.

Having finally played themselves into the game towards the end of the first half, it was Birmingham who had the first opening after the restart as Lee Buchanan sent a rising shot wide.

Another good opportunity for Stansfield then came and went when he shot wide from inside the area after his initial shot from Juninho Bacuna’s cross had been blocked.

The Blues were then left furious when they weren’t awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute when Stansfield appeared to be held back from Bacuna’s corner by Millwall’s Joe Bryan.

The visitors continued to dominate the second-half proceedings, with Stansfield shooting off-target again from a presentable shooting position.

From nowhere, Millwall found a second wind and finally had another chance of their own when Flemming’s long throw ran for George Saville, who headed over with 15 minutes remaining.

Just when it looked as though the match would end in stalemate, the Lions snatched all three points when Tanganga rose to head in Saville’s corner and spark wild celebrations from the home supporters.

Blackburn boss John Eustace praised his side’s fighting spirit after a second-half strike from Sammie Szmodics salvaged a 1-1 Championship draw against Millwall at Ewood Park.

The result left Eustace still searching for his first win as Rovers boss but he found plenty to be positive about after the hosts hit back from Michael Obafemi’s shock 53rd-minute opener.

“It wasn’t a classic but again the lads have shown fantastic character and togetherness, to come from a goal behind against a difficult opponent,” said Eustace.

“I was pleased with the reaction. We dominated possession without really testing their keeper, but we worked hard and stuck together and it was a good point in the end.

“The boys since I’ve come in have been fantastic. We’re playing players who have come back from long injuries and they are running through brick walls for us. They are leggy and tired but they are fully committed to the cause.”

The point left Rovers in the thick of the relegation fight and the frustration was evident among some sections of the home support at the final whistle.

Szmodics proved a threat throughout but clear-cut chances were few and far between and Yasin Ayari’s speculative long-range effort in injury time summed up Rovers’ overall lack of threat.

Eustace added: “We have to show more belief in the final third but we are showing the right signs and with 10 games to go, it’s about not losing and getting the right result.

“There’s a lot of teams from around 10th spot down that can be involved in the relegation fight and it’s just vital we keep believing in what we’re doing.”

Millwall boss Neil Harris was satisfied with a point that extended his unbeaten run – since replacing Joe Edwards last month – to three games.

And Harris was particularly pleased with Obafemi who came off the bench to grab his first goal since signing his loan deal from Rovers’ Lancashire rivals Burnley.

Obafemi has struggled with fitness and illness since moving to The Den and Harris said: “I’m delighted for Mike.

“It was too risky to start him tonight because he’s our only fit striker coming back from injury, but I was really pleased with his performance.

“We’re really pleased with the points total of seven from three games. The glass is definitely half full and there are lots of positives that I’ve learned today.”

Harris insisted he would not attach any blame to Danny McNamara, whose blunder at the back allowed Szmodics in to sweep home Rovers’ equaliser.

Left-back McNamara has been one of the stand-out performers under Harris and the head coach said: “When you get your noses in front in a scrappy game at this stage of the season, you need to see the game out.

“Danny is disappointed but he will stand up and take responsibility and there were other things we didn’t do well in the build-up to the goal, so there is no individual blame culture.

“The big thing for me is that we came off tonight and we gave a really poor goal away but the players all mentioned that it was a really good point for us tonight.”

Sammie Szmodics salvaged a point for Blackburn but his 20th Championship goal of the season could not disguise the home side’s frustration after a tough 1-1 draw with Millwall at Ewood Park.

Szmodics pounced on a defensive error to fire home just past the hour mark, 10 minutes after Millwall substitute Michael Obafemi had lashed the Lions in front.

But the result extended Rovers’ dismal streak to just one win in 15 league games and leaves John Eustace still searching for his first victory in charge.

In contrast, Millwall’s point stretched their unbeaten run under Neil Harris to three matches and they will arguably have been the happier, despite the careless manner in which they tossed away over an hour of sterling defensive work.

Revitalised under the charge of their all-time record goalscorer, the visitors had the best chance of a first half that was almost devoid of incident, Ziam Flemming shooting into the side-netting from a tight angle after George Saville’s corner.

It was the only chance of any kind mustered in the first half by Harris’ men, who seemed happy to sit back and squeeze the momentum out of the home side, with Japhet Tanganga in particular outstanding at the back.

The Lions’ tactics could largely be said to have worked if the scattered boos that greeted the hosts at the half-time whistle was anything to go by.

Szmodics could do nothing with an effort from a tight angle after being put through by Tyrhys Dolan, then Szmodics returned the favour but his team-mate was caught offside.

The busy Dolan tried his luck from long range but his effort was blocked by Tanganga, who was also central to hacking away a dangerous Dom Hyam free-kick, before Flemming had his chance at the other end, just before the half-hour mark.

Jake Cooper denied Szmodics a shooting chance with an excellent interception, then Ryan Longman’s gutsy counter-attack trickled out to neatly sum up a forgettable first period.

Obafemi needed less than eight minutes to make an impression, tenaciously winning Billy Mitchell’s fine cross into the box and capitalising on poor Rovers defending to turn and fire a rising shot past home goalkeeper Leo Wahlstedt.

Amid evident frustration among the home fans, Rovers responded well, Szmodics forcing a save from Matija Sarkic before a desperate blunder from Millwall’s Danny McNamara led to their 63rd-minute equaliser.

The full-back failed to spot Rovers substitute Amor Sigurdsson when playing a square ball and the Iceland striker, who had only been on the field for two minutes, served Szmodics to sweep the leveller past Sarkic.

The excellent Tanganga headed away a dangerous cross under pressure from Szmodics, while Yasin Ayari’s long-range effort deep into injury time was palmed away by Sarkic as Millwall held on.

Neil Harris hailed his Millwall players for displaying the passion he believes the club is built on as they edged past Watford 1-0.

Harris left Cambridge at the end of February to return to The Den for his second spell in charge, and has since steered the Lions to back-to-back wins to keep them above the relegation zone.

Earlier in the week, Harris had spoken about “bringing the Millwall-ness back” to the club, and he felt he saw glimpses of that as Zian Flemming’s early free-kick sealed the three points.

“The football club belongs to the fanbase, so what do they want to see from their team?” said Harris.

“Well, the good teams I’ve played in and the good teams I’ve managed they had heart, they had character, they had passion, desire.

“We could challenge, we could run and we had some ability as well, and that’s all the fans want to see.

“It’s my job to teach this group of players what a Millwall team looks like and today, we had it in so many ways. We didn’t take care of the ball well enough at times, we lacked a little bit of confidence and belief here at The Den that we showed at Southampton with the ball.

“So, that’s something that we’ve got to drip feed into the players, but as in spirit and character and atmosphere in the stadium, that was really, really positive.”

The good feeling was sparked just three minutes in when Flemming’s deflected free-kick found the bottom corner despite Watford goalkeeper Ben Hamer getting hands to it.

Hamer was almost left red-faced for a second time when he allowed a long ball to drift past him, but he breathed a sigh of relief when Duncan Watmore’s effort from a narrow angle hit the post.

The Hornets had more possession in a second half sorely lacking in quality, but a long-range shot over by Ismael Kone and a simple save by Matija Sarkic from Jake Livermore was the best they
could muster.

It meant a fifth defeat in six league games that drew an angry reaction from their supporters after the final whistle and left the visitors in danger of being dragged into the scramble for survival.

Watford boss Valerien Ismael said: “I think throughout the 90 minutes we were not intimidated by the environment and that we were solid.

“We raised the performance from last week, we were unlucky from a deflected free-kick, we were one goal down.

“The only thing we said was just to stand the first 15-20 minutes, the most powerful energy from the game will be there, with the win last week, with the new manager.

“We were prepared for that but, unfortunately, we conceded exactly the goal there, but after that I didn’t think Millwall had the chance to score.

“We were under control, we were focused on ourselves and the performance in this kind of away game was good, but it doesn’t help us a lot at the moment.

“We need to win games, especially in this period of the season, and when you come on a run like this, it makes it difficult for the players.”

Zian Flemming’s early free-kick was enough for Millwall to defeat Watford 1-0 at The Den and make it two wins from two since manager Neil Harris’ return to the club.

With several of their fellow strugglers also picking up results, coming away with maximum points was imperative for the Lions as it keeps them one point clear of the Championship relegation zone.

Watford are six points clear of trouble, but after their fifth defeat in six games their form is leaving them in danger of being dragged into the increasingly congested battle against the drop.

Millwall were ahead after just three minutes when Flemming’s deflected free-kick from over 25 yards out found the bottom corner, with Watford goalkeeper Ben Hamer getting hands to it but unable to keep it out.

The visitors had a quick chance to equalise when some sloppy marking from a throw-in led to Vakoun Bayo firing a shot into the side netting.

Hamer was having an uncomfortable afternoon and almost cost the Hornets for a second time when he allowed a long ball to drift past him, but he was bailed out by Duncan Watmore’s effort from an acute angle striking the post.

Matija Sarkic was tested for the first time at the other end when the Montenegro international got down to keep hold of Yaser Asprilla’s shot.

Captain Wesley Hoedt then bent a free-kick just over for Watford, who remained behind at the break after an error-strewn first-half performance.

Needlessly giving passes away was something that also afflicted Millwall in the opening stages of the second half, leading to what was an untidy period in the game.

The Hornets forged a half-chance in the 57th minute when Jamal Lewis drove a low ball from the left that Bayo could not direct on target after attacking the near post.

Both attacks were feeding off scraps, with Millwall’s Michael Obafemi forced to improvise from a Ryan Leonard long throw as he sent an overhead kick over the bar.

Ismael Kone was brought on by Hornets boss Valerien Ismael alongside Ryan Andrews, and the former sent a long-range effort over with 15 minutes left, with his side still searching for some fluency in attack.

They were at least pushing Millwall further back, although Jake Livermore’s effort from outside the box was easily dealt with by Sarkic.

That was as close as Watford came to forcing an equaliser, despite their late pressure, as the hosts picked up three more vital points.

Joe Edwards admitted Millwall are in the Championship relegation battle after a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at The Den.

The Owls were two goals ahead at half-time after a delightful display from Dutch winger Anthony Musaba, who set up Canada international Ike Ugbo before finding the back of the net himself with a composed finish past Matija Sarkic.

The hosts were on the front foot for much of the second half, with Wednesday replacement Ashley Fletcher seeing red for two bookable offences.

However, Edwards’ side are now just one point above the relegation zone in 21st following their fourth consecutive defeat and eighth match without a win.

He said: “Southampton will be a tough game and not to declare an official relegation fight, but we are clearly down that part of the league.

“We are creeping towards that part of the season where it is important we get points on the board.

“Having been there and lived it before, there is no point really getting drawn into playing the fixtures predictions game.

“You never know, we will go to Southampton with absolute belief.

“And who knows, a game like today – which is a should-win in many people’s eyes – maybe the pressure got to us a bit and it ends up being a difficult day, but that could be the turning point.

“That is what football is about, we are not going there to roll over and wait for the next game, we have to go there and find some belief through what is a really really tough period.

“The only way is back in on Monday, stick together, stand up and go and face what is a really tough challenge on Saturday and beyond.”

The result was a huge boost to Wednesday’s survival hopes.

They remain in 23rd but are now just four points away from safety with 13 games to go this season, and manager Danny Rohl was delighted with a win on the road.

He said: “It was a difficult one, we know that coming here is not easy. When I looked at the game against Ipswich, the first 15 minutes I thought Millwall were very strong.

“I think that was the key today, we spoke about making the difference between home and away, I think at home we have had a lot of good performances and good results.

“It was a clear message today, make the difference in every duel and win the second ball.

“I think the two goals we scored were exactly what we wanted, to find the two number 10s and then speed up the game.

“It was great – I would describe today as adult football, if you know what I mean?

“The last few weeks we have spoken about performance away. Today was about taking results, we did well as a team and showed as a team what we have to do in our situation.”

Anthony Musaba scored one goal and made another as Sheffield Wednesday extended Millwall’s winless run to eight matches with a 2-0 victory at The Den.

The Owls had only scored seven away goals all season ahead of the crucial clash, but they were in front at the break after Musaba set up Ike Ugbo before finding the back of the net himself.

The Lions fought desperately during an improved second-half performance but failed to carve out many clear-cut chances on their way to their fourth consecutive defeat and seventh in that eight-game run.

The hosts started brightly as they looked to bounce back from their crushing defeat at the hands of Ipswich, Tom Bradshaw heading wide from the centre of the penalty area inside five minutes.

The crowd came alive after a crunching challenge from right wing-back Danny McNamara.

The Owls struggled to build momentum during the opening 20 minutes, with their only real threat coming from balls in behind to Troyes loanee Ugbo.

However, in the 31st minute, the Canada international tapped home from close range to give his side the lead following a sensational run and cross from Musaba.

Ryan Leonard produced a long-range shot from the edge of the box as the Lions tried to muster a response but things soon went from bad to worse for Joe Edwards’ side.

Wednesday stalwart Barry Bannan found Musaba with a delicious pass and the Dutch winger made no mistake, stroking the ball past Matija Sarkic and into the bottom right corner for his sixth goal of the season.

That sparked jubilant scenes in the away end, while Millwall’s players faced a chorus of boos at the half-time whistle.

Zian Flemming almost got his side back in the game after the break, forcing an excellent stop from James Beadle before getting on the end of the resulting corner.

Then the Lions’ top scorer won a free-kick on the edge of the box, only to see it rebound off the wall and away to safety.

The hosts almost reduced the deficit to one in the 63rd minute but Duncan Watmore’s driven effort was cleared off the line by Di’Shon Bernard.

Flemming had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Geoff Eltringham with 20 minutes left after a collision with Marvin Johnson inside the penalty area.

Then seven minutes later, Aidomo Emakhu beat his man before conjuring a driven delivery across goal that ultimately came to nothing.

The hosts deserved something for their efforts in the second half but nobody could get on the end of Ryan Longman’s fantastic cross after some nice work from Flemming in the build-up.

Wednesday’s Ashley Fletcher was shown a red card for a second bookable offence in stoppage time, but it made no difference as Millwall slipped within a point of the relegation zone.

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