Millwall ended a run of four league games without victory to claim an impressive 1-0 victory away to sixth placed Preston North End.

The Lions built on their good midweek performance in their 1-1 home draw with Fulham to close the cap on their playoff rivals to four points.
Shaun Hutchinson’s second half header was the difference as Millwall dominated the game. It could have been more, but a clean sheet and three points against the side with the best home record in the division will please the Lions’ faithful.
Here are five things we learned:

The Season Isn’t Over Yet
After a difficult few games, which saw Millwall play the top three sides in the division, the Lions had slid down the table, losing place on the playoff spots, moving down to 11 th place.

Some worried that this stumble could end Millwall’s hopes of finishing in the top six and that the season might drift into midtable obscurity.

Hopes were lifted after an improved performance in midweek against Scott Parker’s Fulham and the chase is very much back on after Saturday’s convincing win.

A win against a playoff rival closes the gap, now down to four points. Millwall’s hard spell is out the way with a number of games against sides below the Lions to be played.

There are still a number of teams in the mix, but Millwall are certainly one of them.
The Right Formula

News Shopper:
If we’ve learned anything from the last two games, but especially yesterday, it’s that Rowett’s 5-2-3 is the way forward.
Rowett reverted to 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 in Millwall’s games against Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom and in both of those games, Millwall put in a below par performance.
Going back to the formation that was so successful in the early parts of Rowett’s tenure has made a clear impact.
Millwall are much more solid defensively, with Pearce, Hutchinson and Cooper proving a fierce wall for any Championship attack. West Brom could only muster one shot in the second half, a freekick in the 91 st minute.
The improvement in performance is no doubt down to the linked to the system, in which Millwall press well, defend resolutely and create more chances.
Missing Marksman

News Shopper:
Millwall’s success is being built on their defence.

The problem in killing games has been a recurring one, they lack goals. Bradshaw is a great finisher, but his is in a bit of a rut.
He has gone seven league games without a goal, his one-on-one miss highlights his lack of
confidence. He is undoubtedly a great finisher; he just needs to find the net soon.

That said, Bodvarsson is starting to look livelier.

The summer signing took his time to find his feet at Millwall, only scoring his first goal last month. He has started to look better in recent games, lasting longer than Bradshaw in the last two.
Maybe, between the two of them, they can keep Millwall pushing forward.
Hutch Is Back

News Shopper:
Hutchinson won Millwall’s Player of the Year in the 2017-18 season, but last year he struggled with injury and form.

This year he is back to his best, putting in solid defensive performances week in, week out. Not only has he rediscovered his form, he is starting to score important goals too.

Last season, it was Jake Cooper who scored seven goals to help Millwall avoid relegation. This year his partner Hutchinson has picked up the baton. Maybe his goals will help the side push for promotion.

Three Points Is Worth It
Last weekend, Storm Ciara was wreaking havoc on the UK’s weekend plans, disrupting travel and postponing games.
This week, it was Dennis’ turn to provide the disruption. Less games were cancelled, but the storm did prevent plenty of Millwall fans making the journey back to London.
That travel nightmare would annoy anyone, but judging by the mood on Twitter, the travelling
contingent were comforted by the three points that their side had won that afternoon.
An extra three hours on your homeward journey isn’t ideal, but three points makes it worthwhile.