Millwall fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat on Saturday, to a Wigan side fighting for survival in the Championship. Shaun Hutchinson’s second half own goal was the difference as the Lions lost ground on the playoffs.

Here are five things we learned, writes Ryan Loftus:

Struggling Against Strugglers

It was a very disappointing afternoon for Millwall. After good performances against Fulham and Preston last week, they slipped up against a side in the bottom three.

It’s not a new problem: one person on Twitter argued that ‘you’re not proper ‘Wall if you didn’t see that result coming’. It’s a problem Millwall have had for a long time, good against the top sides, poor against the bottom ones.

This season, Millwall laboured to a draw away to Luton, lost at home to Barnsley and have now lost to Wigan. They’ve taken five points from five games against the current bottom three.

It was the same problem last year too. Millwall took five points from a possible 18 against the relegated three teams, Rotherham, Bolton and Barnsley.

There is a problem with the mentality, and it needs addressing. The players need to start believing that they capable of brushing strugglers aside.

Shopping List

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There’s no question that Millwall’s squad has certain limitations. Rowett has only had one January window to change that, bringing in Woods and Bennett, two players outside of the usual Millwall mould.

He will have targets in mind for the summer and hopefully the squad will slowly start to take a different shape as he puts his stamp on it.

One position he will be in the market for is a left back.

Murray Wallace has had a decent season, but he was dreadful on Saturday. The usual excuse will be wheeled out – ‘He’s playing out of position, you know! He’s supposed to be a centre back!’.

That may be the case, but I’m growing tired of it. He has a blinder one in ten games, but he is a massive weak spot in the side.

Wigan targeted him. Byrne, Lowe and Pilkington took turns beating him for pace, 13 of their 15 crosses from open play came down his channel.

Rowett hinted towards his displeasure, saying his side ‘defended the box well’ but ‘didn’t defend the wide areas particularly’.

Despite a poor game, Wallace did make a good clearance off the line. He is hard working, honest but limited. To go further, Millwall need better.

Rowett Doesn’t Hold Punches

Luckily, Rowett isn’t the type to make excuses. Rather than bemoaning a couple of potential penalties, the Millwall boss accused his side of being ‘fearful’, ‘tepid’, ‘soft’ and ‘flat’.

The gaffer’s honesty has earned him a lot of plaudits and he didn’t hold back after the game.

He questioned the side’s desire, suggesting some players are happy to be safe, rather than push for the playoffs. That’s the first time he’s really questioned the mentality of the squad and it shows what his aims are as Millwall boss.

Rowett will demand more from his players. He’s an ambitious manager, he wants his players to share that ambition.

Bennett Offers Hope

One bright spark from Saturday’s game was Mason Bennett. The on-loan Derby man made his first appearance off the bench and he looked promising.

Having spent most of this season recovering from injury, the start of his Millwall career was delayed after picking up a knock in training shortly after his arrival.

He got his chance on 64 minutes, shortly after Wigan had taken the lead and he definitely added some forward momentum for the Lions.

His three shots were more than any other player during his time on the pitch, going close with a decent left footed effort, just into the side netting. He caused Byrne trouble at right back too, completing two take-ons, showing a good turn of pace.

He will still be rusty and building his fitness, but from the early signs, he looks like he slots into the left-wing position well. He offers something new, Millwall fans will be eager to see more.

Missing Ben Thompson

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Ben Thompson returned to training this week, with a view to re-entering the fray in March. How Millwall need him.

The interplay between the front three was poor at the DW. They were too far from the midfield duo and struggled to link up with each other.

There have been a few occasions since his injury that Millwall have been crying out for Thompson. His unpredictability, work-rate and creativity will add what has been missing from the attacking play.

It’s an old cliché, but he could well be ‘like a new signing’ when he returns. It can’t come soon enough.