Robinson strike does little to quell Wise speculation
Millwall 1 - Leeds United 1
Monday 07 March 2005
Dennis Wise has had his future at Millwall brought into question this week but after seeing his young side earn a draw, the Lions player-manager claimed he was not bothered if his tenure in south London was coming to a premature close.
With Wise's friend Theo Paphitis stepping down as chairman at the end of this season, to be replaced by Jeff Burnidge, a long-standing director, stories have emerged that Burnidge does not see eye-to-eye with Wise and shares a different view as to the direction of the Lions.
Wise, the manager since the autumn of 2003, said: "Am I on my way out? It doesn't bother me. The new chairman hasn't told me my situation. However, I won't walk away." Wise has one more year on his contract and he added: "If he gets rid of me, that's fair enough. When he takes over he'll make a decision." The former Chelsea midfielder at least felt there was better news on the pitch thanks to his emerging young players, five of whom were aged 22 or under and who held a more experienced Leeds side, earning a point that takes both teams to within three points of the play-offs. After taking the lead through Paul Robinson, they appeared set to hold on for victory until Rob Hulse turned his marker and equalised 12 minutes from time.
Neither side created many chances but the home side took their first one, with the goal coming from an unlikely source. Josh Simpson had set up Peter Sweeney for a left-footed shot that Neil Sullivan palmed away. From the ensuing corner Mark Quigley found the space to shoot and the left-back, Robinson, back from loan with Torquay, stuck his leg out for a decisive touch.
Kevin Blackwell, the Leeds manager, admitted his disappointment with the goal, having worked on set-pieces in the build-up to this game, but he did not say how unhappy he was that it took his side 48 minutes to bring Andy Marshall into the game, when Gary Kelly forced a flying save from the goalkeeper.
Blackwell then saw his side denied what he felt was a blatant penalty, Marlon King falling to ground when poised to meet Matthew Kilgallon's inviting cross, although it appeared that his team-mate Hulse could have produced the ill-timed contact.
However, Leeds continued to press their hosts and found the equaliser they deserved. Michael Gray chipped a pass into the box and Hulse was quick enough to swivel and beat Marshall at his near post.
Goals: Robinson (17) 1-0, Hulse (78) 1-1.
Millwall (4-4-2): Marshall; Robinson, Ward, Lawrence, Craig; Sweeney (Weston, 84), Morris, Elliott, Simpson; Dichio, Quigley (Peeters, 89). Substitutes not used: Stack (gk), Serioux, May.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Kelly (Carlisle, 90), Butler, Kilgallon, Gray; Lennon, Derry, Gregan, Walton (King, 60); Healy (Johnson, 84), Hulse. Substitutes not used: Pressman (gk), Wright.
Referee: B Knight (Kent).
Booked: Millwall Elliott. Leeds United Gregan, Derry.
Man of the match: Simpson.
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