Gary Rowett believes the officials cost Millwall the game in their 2-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.

Jake Cooper looked like he was tripped by Ashley Fletcher, allowing the Boro man through to set up Britt Assombalonga for the away side’s opener.

Rowett said he could have ‘given that decision with his eyes closed’ and called for the officials to make the ‘obvious call’.

"What looked like a trip, what felt like a trip, was a trip," he said of the incident.

"It’s as simple as that.

"I’m not going to excuse our performance because it wasn’t good enough but it was a blatant trip.

"It wasn’t intentional, he didn’t mean to do it but he’s [Fletcher] caught his [Cooper] feet and you can see he’s clipped his legs from behind and fallen over, Jake cooper. You can see the way he’s fallen over.

"What’s very disappointing is the linesman who is two yards away and the referee between them, you have to make what looks very much like the obvious decision, because it’s so controversial.

"If you get it wrong, it changes the game and today I thought the referee and the linesman got it horribly wrong between them.

"I can only be disappointed with that. Those moments open the game up and their second goal comes from us chasing the game and trying to get back in it.

"I’m disappointed for a couple of reasons. One is to try and chase that playoff spot you’ve certainly got to play better than that and show more incisiveness about your passing and when we got into good areas, we didn’t make enough of it.

"But I felt in some ways we’ve had that opportunity taken away from us by a poor decision, simple as that."

Rowett was asked his opinions on VAR and if it would have helped his side today. He was clear in his response when he said, ‘there is no VAR in the Championship so it’s irrelevant.’

He continued:"You shouldn’t need VAR when a linesman is two yards away. If you need VAR for that then you shouldn’t be officiating.

"It was clear decision, if you’re two yards away, you’re expected to do your job.

"I’m not saying they’ve intentionally got the wrong decision. What im saying is you have to be clear and do your jobs.

"We find ourselves 1-0 down because the linesman hasn’t done his job properly and then we’re now chasing the game.

"There wasn’t that much in the game, there wasn’t many clear chances until that point. It was a game that was going to be either a 0-0 or decided by a set piece or one moment.

"Unfortunately, it was decided by something else."