7:33pm Saturday 18th February 2012
By Paul Green
KENNY Jackett has admitted David Forde’s recent dip in form had cost the keeper his place in Millwall’s goal for today’s FA Cup meeting with Bolton.
Forde paid the price after his late error handed Brighton a point in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw and the Irish international was replaced this afternoon between the sticks by Steve Mildenhall.
And now Lions boss Jackett has challenged the duo to respond well to the situation by battling it out for the shirt between now and the end of the campaign as Millwall bid to retain their Championship status.
The Den chief explained: “I felt that David needed a breather out of it.
“I felt Steve has before his injury had very good spell for us, so it was a straight choice on the selection.
“Maybe I think he could have done better in some certain situations but he has been an excellent keeper for us, as has Mildenhall.
“Mildenhall just hasn’t quite had the same amount of opportunities this year and I felt that before his injury he was doing well.
“I would think now in the run in both of them are experienced enough to handle it, whichever one I select and I’m looking for a positive reaction from both.”
Today’s 2-0 defeat at home to Bolton means Championship survival is all Millwall have to concentrate on now.
Bolton took an early lead after Paul Robinson was punished for a challenge on David Ngog, with Samuel Ricketts releasing Ryo Miyaichi with a quickly taken free-kick before the Japanese ace finished well.
Jackett was still questioning the decision to award the foul afterwards but acknowledged it was the worst possible opening to a game his side could have made.
“Whether it was a free-kick or not it is debatable,” he said.
“It was a bit of a soft free-kick but they took it quick and to give a Premier League side a start like that was disappointing. It gave them something to hang on to and basically then after that their game plan was to sit deep.
“We had a lot of good possession and some good moves without being able to get that goal.
“There were some key moments.
“Their full back nearly scored an own goal in the first half and he has done well to get it over the bar, then there was a good double save by the goalkeeper.
“We needed one of those moments to break for us or we needed to finish it and that would have obviously got us back into the game.”
Jackett added: “The corner count was 9-1 and unfortunately we couldn’t get our heads on one of those either, which would have lifted us.
“It would have lifted our confidence and got us back in the game but ultimately if you give a Premier League side like that a start and allow them to sit back and then try to pick you off, it becomes very difficult to cause an upset.
“For us we’ve had a good run in the FA Cup and haven’t disgraced ourselves today.
“We have to look forward very quickly now because there is a massive game on Tuesday against Middlesbrough here.”
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