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Downing: We can't be bullied

The winger is fully aware of what to expect when Millwall visit Ewood Park this weekend

12 September 2019

Stewart Downing insists Rovers will have to come out fighting if they are to beat Millwall on Saturday at Ewood Park.

The winger, who arrived on a free transfer from Middlesbrough in the summer, played against The Lions for Boro over the last couple of seasons.

Although Neil Harris' side are known for their directness and aerial ability, they do have technical players who could harm Rovers, and Downing knows the three points will be hard fought should the hosts get them.

“We take each game as it comes and this league is one where anyone can beat anyone," the experienced ex-England man said.

"The first game is Millwall and we’ll look to beat them before we look any further ahead.

“Over the last few years whenever I was at Middlesbrough you knew what you would get from Millwall.

“They are a really physical team but they play to their strengths. They have a way of playing and you have to deal with it.

“They can bully you if you let them, so it’s important for us to attack us, get after them and push them back.”

It's been two weeks without a game for Rovers due to an international break, which has allowed Downing time to reflect and analyse the team's first month of the campaign.

And despite three defeats in August, the former Liverpool and West Ham United playmaker believes there have certainly been positive signs.

“We started off ever so well at West Brom, but the last 40 minutes of the first half was poor," he added.

"In the second half we did improve, but ultimately we didn’t defend well enough.

“We know we can score goals and we’re a new team who are still learning about each other, but I feel the early signs are positive.

“Sometimes the break can come at a good time. This two week period hasn’t been about sitting around and chilling out, it’s been about learning about one another and working on things to improve.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks, but that can only be proved by the next couple of results.

“It’s a critical period coming up and it can really help us kick on as a team."


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