By Sam Brown, presenter of Lions Live
JOE Gallen says keeper David Forde was not at fault for Bristol City’s opener last night.
Millwall earned a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate despite falling behind after 28 minutes to Steven Davies’ looping header on his first start for Bristol city since signing for the Robins in August from Derby County.
Davies scored from 30 yards out after David Forde headed away Cole Skuse's long ball straight to him, although Alan Dunne was unfortunate not to get back in time to prevent Davies finding the scoring.
But assistant Lions boss Gallen felt Forde had made the right call.
He said: “We thought David Forde made the correct decision and brave decision to come, we all thought he got that one right.
“It was very unfortunate that where it landed the actual pace he put on the header enabled Davies to get enough pace for it to hit the net.
“We were scrambling back to clear that but these things can happen.
“I would just like to concentrate on our response really because we then scored a terrific goal from an excellent cross and it was a really good header.
“From then on in we looked like we could go and get the next one but it wasn’t to be in this one.”
Kenny Jacketts’ men provided the perfect response to going behind as Darius Henderson headed home the equaliser from a sublime James Henry cross 10 minutes later.
But despite an impressive display, the Lions were instead forced to settle for a share of the spoils and remain in the bottom three.
Gallen added: “We have a slightly disappointed changing room because we thought we put in another solid and credible away performance and feel we could have nicked all three points.
“The players are disappointed but overall we are pleased with the performance again after another good performance on Saturday away from home.”
The Lions made two changes following that 2-2 draw at Burnley.
Jack Smith made his first start since returning from injury and Henderson earned his place in the starting XI after scoring the late equaliser to secure the point at Turf Moor. Yesterday’s strike made it two goals in as many games for the striker but he also had chances to win all three points for the Lions at Bristol City.
Gallen said: “When you have three games in eight days, which all the clubs in the Championship have and they’re tough games and you have a lot of travelling, I think in terms of rotating things around we saw Bristol city change their forwards as well.
“We need to keep things fresh , it’s a key position really.
“We are lucky we have some good forwards.
“Shaun Batt is ready to play too, so that’s four good ones there.”
Millwall captain Paul Robinson was absent from the squad and is receiving treatment after picking up an injury Turf Moor. “I think our physio is looking for him to see a specialist” added Gallen.
“It doesn’t look as if he will be back in the next few weeks, I think it’s going to be a bit later than that but I can’t give you a definite. I would if I could.”
Danny Shittu was handed the captain’s armband for the clash at Bristol City over previous vice captain Liam Trotter.
Gallen added: “Liam is playing very well, we didn’t want to disrupt his performances.
“Danny Shittu, without Paul Robinson, is probably the most experience player we have got.
“He played in the Premier League for Watford and Bolton and is a good leader and good talker.
“It just lets Liam get on with the game and lets Liam create and score some goals which he is capable of.” The Lions’ next test is against and expensively assembled Bolton side at The Den on Saturday.
Bolton are lying 17th in the league and have drawn their last two matches.
Star players to watch include Kevin Davies, Jay Spearing and Zat Knight and a host of other former Premier League players, with Gallen urging the fans to get behind the team on Saturday.
He said: “It’s going to be a different and difficult game but we have been solid the last couple of games and pleased to see us play that way, maybe not as expansive and as pretty on the ball but at Millwall the crowd like that style and get behind that.
“I think at Millwall we need to get them going and of course we need a win at home.
“Our fans are starved of wins at home going even back towards the end of last season.”
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