MILLWALL manager Kenny Jackett praised his side for the professional manner in which they overcame a potential FA Cup banana skin at non-league Luton.
Goals from James Henry, Rob Hulse and substitute Dany N’Guessan booked the Lions’ place in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw and Jackett believes Henry’s opener proved decisive.
He said: “It was a tricky tie, a lot of headers for our back four and constant pressure that we had to withstand, and then we needed some quality when we did break.
“Scoring the first goal was the real key for us towards winning today.
“James Henry is on good form for us at the moment, this season he has had a very good spell.
“Playing on the left-hand side gave him some options and he had a little bit of freedom to go and join in off the forwards. He has been a very consistent and creative player for us this year.
“It was a good clean sheet and we needed it because it was a tricky tie against a Conference side that put us under an awful lot of pressure.
“For myself as a manager it is as far as I’ve got in the competition.
“I’m looking forward to the draw and I’m looking forward to the quarter-final but also I want to try and take this win into our league form as well.
“For everybody at Millwall it is exciting to be involved at this stage.”
Jackett also threw light on why Danny Shittu was absent at Kenilworth Road today.
The Den chief said: “Danny Shittu had an ankle injury and he has a chance for Tuesday against Peterborough.
“He injured his ankle in training and there is no long-term problem but I still feel whenever Karleigh Osborne has played he has played very well.
“We are OK in terms of the centre back position, we feel we are well blessed but you do need the squad.
“The season is a long one and everybody is not on top form all of the time so if you do move it around you are looking for performances from the people who come in.”
There was also a return to the starting XI for Alan Dunne as Adam Smith dropped to the bench.
Jackett said: “I felt we needed as big and experienced a back four as possible.
“Headers/first balls were big today and that was in my decision.
“Peterborough at home might be slightly different, we might need a different type of player but I knew coming here Alan Dunne’s experience and his physical presence would help a back four that would be under a lot of pressure.”
When asked if Hulse meant his goal, Jackett replied: “I thought he played it to the far post area.
“I’m very pleased anyway that he has got off the mark, it is very important for a centre forward going to a new club that they score just for his confidence.
“In the short time and two-and-a-half games he has played for us he has brought experience and good hold-up play and had chances.
“That’s a big thing and generally I think centre forwards who create chances do end up scoring.
“If you go two-and-a-half games and don’t have a chance, that’s going to be tough.
“I’m very pleased for him because as well as his goal today he has brought a lot to our frontline and an experience to our frontline that at times this season we’ve lacked.”
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