Zian Flemming is being backed to build on the promising start to his Millwall career after scoring his first goal for the club last weekend.
The 24-year-old Amsterdam-born attacker, a £1.7million record outlay from Fortuna Sittard this summer, headed the Lions’ opener in Saturday’s 2-1 win.
But Flemming was only officially credited with the goal by the EFL at the start of this week.
Many media outlets initially reported it as an own goal by Blackpool keeper Dan Grimshaw but referee Darren Bond awarded it to the former Ajax youngster.
Flemming is third for shots in the Championship – averaging 4.2 per 90 minutes – with only Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo (5.9) and Huddersfield’s Jordan Rhodes (5.1) above him.
The goal-decision technology told Bond that Flemming’s attempt had crossed the line.
“It was strange at the time because he didn’t really celebrate straight away,” Millwall boss Rowett told the South London Press. “Then the ref gave it, so it was a little bit of an anti-climax. Straight away when he came off the pitch Zian was like ‘it’s my goal, surely it’s my goal’. He couldn’t believe it.
“When you watch it back there isn’t any hint that the keeper does score an own goal. It’s a header that gets parried from over the line and the keeper tries to take it back, which any keeper would try and do.
“We felt there was a really good chance to get the goal awarded back to him.
“God knows how many shots he has had, he must be close to 20 attempts on goal and they are all different types of shots.
“To score that first goal will give him that little bit of extra confidence moving forward.
“He has shown, bit by bit, his qualities and what he is capable of potentially. The goal was a nice way to kickstart your Millwall career.”
Flemming also hit the base of the right post in the second half against the Seasiders.
“He’s got that ability to get shots off and he’s got that ability to see where the space is,” said Rowett. “He’s just a clever player. He showed that at times at the weekend. I still think there is a lot more to come from him as a player, but that only comes with games and confidence.”
It has been reported this week that Leeds United imposed financial penalties if Charlie Cresswell does not feature for the Lions.
The England U21 international is on a season-long loan with the South Londoners.
“I’m not involved in the details and those sort of discussions,” said Rowett. “Is it a financial penalty? Sometimes you pay a loan fee and every time a player starts that loan fee reduces.
“There is a way of encouraging game time for young loan players. But from my perspective, Cressy and Shacks [Jamie Shackleton] – any players that come from Premier League clubs on loan – they are part of what we’re doing. We try and treat them exactly the same as any other player that is in our group.
“I wouldn’t pick the team based on any financial penalties.
“If you’re a Premier League club loaning to a Championship club, you want your player to play at least a decent amount of minutes. It’s probably more a case of that.”