GARY Bowyer wants his young Blackburn Rovers side to rise to the challenge of playing at The Den.

Bowyer is looking forward to one of the Championship’s most testing away trips tonight as Rovers look for a fourth win a row.

He was also full of praise for his Lions counterpart Ian Holloway, after he steered the club to safety last season by ending the campaign eight games unbeaten.


“Ian Holloway did a fantastic job keeping them up last year,” said Bowyer.

“You talk about managers of the year, what Ian did with so many games to go and keep them up was phenomenal, and I’m delighted that he did because it’s great for our players to go and play in that environment.

“It’s a great place to go, the supporters are fanatical, it’s a wonderful place to go and try and play football.

“With the new stadiums that are in place now sometimes I think you lose that (atmosphere), but you don’t at Millwall, that’s for sure. They give you good banter as well, I don’t mind that.”

Rovers head to south London on a three-game winning streak, but Bowyer has warned his players that this could be the toughest test they face this season.

“Our players will know they are in a game from the minute they arrive there,” he said.

“From the supporters and then obviously when the whistle goes, because I’ve watched Millwall and he’s got them playing good football.

“I said to our players straight after the game with Reading that this is going to be the toughest test of the season for us, so we’ve got to make sure we’re spot on and up to matching anything Millwall throw at us, both on the pitch and off the pitch.”

In March, Rovers twice came from behind with 10 men to draw 2-2 at The Den.

Grant Hanley was sent off on 56 minutes and the Lions scored twice from the spot, but Josh King’s last minute goal earned Rovers a share of the spoils.

“I think we came undone by two tough decisions against us,” Bowyer said of that game. “But what we saw was the spirit and the character. It’s a difficult place to go but that spirit and character shone through last season and we’re going to need it again tonight.”