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Ryan Leonard’s perfect tackle on Swansea speed merchant was ‘incredible moment’

BY ALEX GRACE

Gary Rowett had plenty of praise for Ryan Leonard after his terrific challenge on Michael Obafemi helped Millwall earn a 2-2 draw at Swansea on Tuesday night.

It proved to be a match-saving challenge as the Lions secured a stunning point in stoppage time.

Leonard’s challenge came in between the two goals making it even more impressive.

“I have to say, over 50 metres, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as fast as Lenny, ” Rowett told Millwall TV. “It’s amazing, he just gets more and more powerful as the distance continues.

“At first, you think he’s never catching Obafemi – because he’s so quick – but Lenny just churns the ground up. It’s his decision at the end not to bring him down, he allowed him to come across him and then made the tackle, and it was an incredible moment.

“We champion great skill and great finishes, but sometimes you champion desire and effort. I was really disappointed with the way we started for our fans because we don’t set up like that, we don’t work to begin the game like that, and we don’t tactically set up to do that. We just made mistakes, and I was disappointed because they came all this way on a difficult Tuesday night, but thankfully we gave them a little something to be proud of at the end.”

Rowett spoke after Saturday’s win over Coventry about his side improving their form away from home, but those highs were quickly deflated as Ryan Manning gave the hosts a 52-second lead.

It doesn’t get any easier for Rowett’s side as they go to Norwich on Friday night – a ground they haven’t won at since 1968.

Asked if his side should feel confident heading to Carrow Road, he said: “They should be, I said this after the weekend they should have been in a very buoyant mood after a 3-2 win, and we have to take that into the game, but we didn’t really when you concede after a minute. It knocks the stuffing out of you a bit.

“It knocks our confidence a bit more than I’d like in those moments, and we struggle for the next 10 minutes. Look at our home record over the last 20 games. How many teams have come and beaten us away from home? Not many. Lots of teams in this division have the same opportunity at home because it’s easier to play at home. What we should be able to do is be a good team away from home because we’ve got character about us, we’ve got that aggression, we could be better. Hopefully, that point gives us a bit of belief going into Friday, but we have to recover first.”

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