Millwall assistant manager David Livermore has reflected well on the weekend performance at Blackburn Rovers and insists a similar defensive shape must be taken into tonight’s Carabao Cup encounter with Gillingham.
Last Saturday afternoon saw the Lions pick up our first clean sheet of the season as we began our away campaign at Ewood Park, following a solid display of defending and a string of impressive saves from Jordan Archer. Livermore believes this stands the team in good stead ahead of the cup clash.
“I thought the first half [against Blackburn] was a solid away performance, and we were unlucky not to be leading,” the assistant boss says.
“In the second half, it was almost the complete opposite – Blackburn were more dominant after the break, so a draw was probably a fair result, and we’re happy to come away with a clean sheet and a good point.
“It was a good defensive performance – I thought Jordan [Archer] was excellent and barring a couple of breakaways from the halfway line, the 10 lads in front of him also defended very well. I think it’s always important that you take something from games when you’re not playing so well, and it sets us up for a week with two home games.”
Livermore also stresses the importance of perfecting the basics in each game, which allows the team freedom going forward.
“It’s a weekly message for us that we have to do the basics well, and part of that is that we pride ourselves on our defensive shape.
“We’ve done a lot of work on that in pre-season and still do – it’s been a big part of our game over the last three seasons – and we’ll continue with that to enable us to express ourselves and be creative on the counter-attack.”
Cup form is something Livermore knows about better than most at The Den, having been part of the FA Cup final side of 2004 alongside manager Neil Harris, and the former Lions midfielder is eager to gather momentum in the domestic cups this season.
“We’re working towards tonight’s game – everyone is fit from the weekend which is good, so we have a fully-fit squad to choose from. We’re looking forward to it, and hopefully we can go through to the next round and try and get a decent draw for ourselves.
“We’d like to [build a cup run], and the preparation for tonight is going well. Every game we set out to go and win it, and this will be no different.
“We want to go as far as we can in both cup competitions this season and that starts now with a tough game against Gillingham.”