Millwall fired themselves right back into the playoff race with a thumping 3-0 win away to fifth placed Nottingham Forest.

The win cuts Millwall’s gap to the top six to just two points, the Lions find themselves in eighth, with nine games to play.

Here are five things we learned from Friday night’s win over Forest.

In Rowett We Trust

Rowett showed a tactical masterclass on Friday night. He set up his side to shut down Forest’s potent duo of Matty Cash and Joe Lolley.

 Millwall were under clear instructions to counter down that side, with the first two goals coming from Forest’s right flank.

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Rowett had questioned the desire of his players of recent weeks and has been constantly tinkering with his line ups in an attempt to find the winning combination.

He hasn’t been happy to down tools for the year, he has kept chopping and changing to get the Lions back on track.

Both of his signings, Mason Bennett and Ryan Woods have made instant improvements to the team.

He’s only had one window to work with, but so far, those two additions have brought something different to the side and are showing their quality.

He is still relatively new to SE16. It’s clear that he can take this side far.

Give the man a full preseason and a bit of financial backing, who knows where he could take the side.

Goals Are Like Busses

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You wait weeks for them, then three come along at once.

Millwall had only scored 41 goals before Friday, one of the lowest totals in the division, with only three scored in the last five games.

The lack of cutting edge had been holding the side back.

The likes of Tom Bradshaw and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson were firing blanks, Jed Wallace had cooled from his hot streak and Millwall looked laboured in attack.

So, no one would have expected the three goals in 13 minutes on Friday night.

Millwall were clinical and relentless on the Forest goal. Hopefully that flurry can reignite a bit of belief in the side going forward.

The Comeback Kid

Last January, Shane Ferguson was told to find a new club, that his services were no longer required.

The Northern Irish ‘left-sided’ player is one to set the world alight with pace or skills, but he does a job.

He opted to stay at Millwall and fight for his place.

He went on to be vital in the survival push.

This was his first start in around a month, brought in to curb the Forest threat and help out Murray Wallace who struggled against Lolley at the Den back in December.

Ferguson has a great left foot and can strike a ball well.

He is the exact sort of player you need to supply Matt Smith, the diminutive Derry-man served up Smith’s hattrick on a platter, in the form of a whipped corner.

Ferguson always seems of the verge of leaving Millwall, an odd fit who doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

What he does have, is the fighting spirit that Millwall fans love.

Never Say Never

The Championship is a weird league.

Just as you think you’ve cracked it, that you can predict a weekend’s results and who might finish where, it chucks in another curveball.

Millwall are lucky to be where they are right now.

The run of form the Lions have been on should have put them out of the picture when it comes to promotion, but it’s never that easy.

Preston, in sixth, have lost three in a row.

Bristol City, in seventh, haven’t won in five. Blackburn, Cardiff and Swansea have all tripped up in the race for sixth spot.

Millwall have to make the most of this win if they want playoffs.

They have to use the momentum and get on a run, the sort of run that Aston Villa and Fulham put together in the last couple of years.

All of the remaining nine games are against sides below the Lions.

They have to capitalise on that.

Matt ‘Marmite’ Smith

Matt Smith’s hattrick was the first of his career.

He is now Millwall’s top scorer this season with 12 goals and has the third best goals per minute rate of any striker in the Championship (140 minutes per goal).

His signing was received with mixed opinions.

It signalled Harris’ intent to stick to long ball, ‘anti-football’.

Others believed he would guarantee goals.

He isn’t a typical target man, which is odd for someone of his stature.

He can barely run, he isn’t great for leading the press, he isn’t ideal at playing with his back to goal.

What he is, is a threat.

Get the ball to him in the box and he will score, as he demonstrated on Friday night.

He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he gets results.