Millwall boss has no regrets on Forest striker deal

This Is Local London: Darius Henderson playing for Millwall on the opening day of the season against Blackpool. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN. Darius Henderson playing for Millwall on the opening day of the season against Blackpool. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN.

KENNY Jackett says he has no regrets about allowing Darius Henderson to join Nottingham Forest midway through the season despite Millwall’s current goals shortage.

Henderson scored 26 goals in 52 games for the Lions before linking up with Saturday’s opponents Forest in January on a free transfer.

The striker is suspended for this weekend’s Den encounter after being sent off in Forest’s recent defeat at Cardiff so will be unable to directly hurt his former club as they desperately try to secure the three points which will guarantee Championship football next season.

But with Millwall having only scored more than once on one occasion in a league game since Henderson’s exit, Jackett was this morning asked by News Shopper if he regretted his decision to let him go.

“No, not necessarily,” the Den chief replied.

“I felt it was the right move and the time was right for Darius to move on.

“There have been a series of things which haven’t helped us up front.

“Chris Wood’s situation has been well documented, Afobe got injured after showing some promise and then we missed out on Harry Kane, where we were very hopeful about trying to bring him back and he obviously went to Leicester.

“After that what we needed to do was then make sure we took experienced players to help us in the league and to also make sure we had enough bodies in what is a very busy end to the season.”

As well as a lack of goals, Millwall’s main problem in the second half of this season has been losing games at The Den.

The latest setback came in Tuesday’s 2-1 reverse to Blackburn, the Lions’ 10th defeat on home turf this campaign.

Jackett admitted: “Our results at The Den haven’t been the best and we’ve largely done better away.

“Our home record generally hasn’t been good enough so what we want to do in front of our own fans is put the performances on which can keep us up and also suggest next season is going to be better because how you finish one season is how you start the next.

“There is nothing we can do about the games which have gone but these two games (Forest and Palace) are two big games which we want to finish off with real good performances at home.

“It was a harsh penalty against us on Tuesday, a very soft one.

“I thought the referee made the wrong assessment, although I don’t think we did enough to win the game because it was even and a drawn game.

“A point would have been a good result for us and it is only that referee’s decision which has cost us that point.”

He added: “In terms of decisions they say they even themselves out.

“If we look recently at the decision in the Birmingham game when Chris Taylor/Richard Chaplow scored where the referee gave it and changed his mind and then there is the decision on the Blackburn penalty – a decision to go our way would be great.

“If they do even up then I’d prefer it if it was sooner rather than later.

“It is still in our own hands and two of the three games are at home, which is a positive, and the next two against Forest and Palace at The Den are big games.

“Generally we thrive on those big games and do very well in them.

“That’s a real positive for us.

“We are in a situation where we have to get going very quickly and make sure we are the ones who get ourselves over the line.”

Nottingham Forest arrive at The Den two points outside the play-offs but without a win since a 2-1 success at Hull City on March 16.

But despite the statistics, Jackett feels Billy Davies’ side have been unlucky during their recent unwanted dip in form.

“I’ve just watched Forest’s game against Barnsley on Saturday which finished 0-0 and they had a lot of chances and hit the post,” the Millwall manager said.

“They’ve probably been unlucky after dominating games recently.

“Forest are full of quality and have sold out their allocation.

“They had a very good run initially under Billy Davies but have probably felt some frustration in recent games where they’ve dominated and not got the results which perhaps they think they deserve.”

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