Former Leyton Orient interim head coach Jobi McAnuff has spoken out against the treatment of Gary Rowett from certain sections of the Millwall fanbase in recent weeks.
It was announced on Wednesday evening that the ex-Derby County and Birmingham City boss had left the club by ‘mutual consent’. Despite narrowly missing out on the playoffs last season, the Lions sit 15th in the Championship this term.
There is no direct replacement lined up to succeed Rowett in the dugout so assistant manager Adam Barrett will take charge of the side for the time being and may be on the sidelines this weekend as Millwall travel to Preston North End.
Rowett had been under increasing pressure in recent weeks as the London club slid down the table. However, ex-Reading star McAnuff believes the decision to allow the 47-year-old to leave was ‘ridiculous’.
“I’ve got to say I think it’s another, in my opinion, ridiculous decision. We are absolutely in silly season now when it comes to managers losing their jobs.
“Yes, it’s very easy to maybe look at the league table and see their actual position, and clearly that’s not where Millwall Football Club feels it should be given the past few seasons and their time generally under Gary Rowett, where he has improved and really been pushing for that play-off team.
“But you’re talking about a result or two away from getting themselves right back into that play-off mix. This is probably an unpopular opinion anywhere outside of Millwall really and I just think it’s ridiculous,” he continued.
“I know the fans haven’t been happy. I was at the Norwich game and some of the chants directed at him were nothing short of a farce really for what he’s done for that football club.
“Just really disappointed to see, I think he’s put everything into that role and just really disappointed to see him leave, I’ve got to say.”
Rowett had been working with a limited budget at Millwall and perhaps is a product of his own success. This happens quite a lot in football: a manager takes a struggling side and the team plays well above their capabilities but eventually regress to their mean and then the coach is sacked. Tony Mowbray is another example of this from his time with Blackburn Rovers.
Nevertheless, while Rowett may be disappointed to be leaving, he certainly won’t be short of offers.