Millwall manager Gary Rowett has expressed his disappointment and frustration after his team’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the final of the EFL Trophy. The Lions had reached the final of the competition for the first time in their history, but were unable to lift the trophy after losing 2-1 to Blackburn at Wembley Stadium.

Speaking after the match, Rowett said: “We’re all hurting. We’ve got to be in pain after that. It’s a big disappointment for everyone involved with the club, especially the fans who have been fantastic all season. But we’ve got to pick ourselves up and go again.”

Rowett’s comments reflect the disappointment that was felt by Millwall fans, who had traveled to Wembley in large numbers to support their team. The Lions had been hoping to end their 27-year wait for a major trophy, but were ultimately unable to overcome a determined Blackburn side.

Millwall run in the competition

Despite the defeat, Rowett was keen to highlight the positives from Millwall’s run in the competition. The Lions had seen off several tough opponents on their way to the final, including Premier League sides West Ham United and Aston Villa.

“I’m incredibly proud of the players,” Rowett said. “They’ve done themselves and the club proud by getting to the final. It’s a great achievement to get this far in a major competition, and we’ve beaten some really good teams along the way.”

Rowett also praised the Millwall fans, who had created a fantastic atmosphere at Wembley despite the disappointment of the result. “Our fans have been fantastic all season,” he said. “They’ve really got behind the team and created a great atmosphere. It’s a shame we couldn’t give them the result they wanted today, but we’ll be doing everything we can to make it up to them.”

Looking ahead, Rowett emphasized the need for Millwall to focus on their remaining league fixtures. The Lions are currently in a good position in the Championship table, and are well-placed to mount a promotion challenge in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got some important games coming up,” Rowett said. “We need to make sure we’re fully focused on those and give ourselves the best possible chance of finishing the season strongly. The players have shown they can compete with some of the best teams in the country, and we need to take that confidence into our remaining fixtures.”

In conclusion, while the defeat to Blackburn Rovers will undoubtedly be a bitter pill for Millwall to swallow, Gary Rowett’s comments suggest that the Lions will not allow it to derail their season. With a talented squad and passionate fanbase, there is still much to be optimistic about at The Den, and the club will be hoping to use their EFL Trophy run as a springboard to further success in the future.