Shell-shocked Millwall caretaker boss Adam Barrett could not believe his side squandered a two-goal lead in the final six minutes to lose their derby clash at Brentford.
Goals from Tom Bradshaw and Jed Wallace gave the Lions a two-goal cushion, but three goals from Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins saw them leave west London pointless.
“It’s a bit of a shock really and I couldn’t believe it. At 2-0 we looked comfortable and they had almost run out of ideas,” he said.
“Their first goal changed the momentum of the game and gave them belief and their tails were up. Then they get a wicked deflection for their second and we didn’t see the game out and when you are two up away from home in this division, you have to come away and see the game out.”
Barrett, who had been told to prepare the team for this and their previous game against Leeds, hailed his players’ application, adding: “They’ve been outstanding for the last two weeks, have worked hard and prepared as best as we can.
“We put ourselves in the best position today and should have seen it out, but didn’t. The first came from a throw-in where we weren’t set up properly and that changed the momentum – they are the little details at this level where you get punished.”
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said his side’s never-say-die spirit marked a “massive turning point” in their season.
“I think we 100% deserved to win. When you are 2-0 down with six minutes to go, to have that capacity, strength and character to turn it around is massive,” he said.
“Once we scored we had momentum and when you get that anything can happen, especially at Griffin Park.”
Frank rued missed chances in a tepid first half, but insisted: “We created a lot of good chances and should have been three up by half-time. We worked hard but sometimes you work hard and don’t get what you deserve. We did today.
“At the end, we were positive and showed a lot of energy and before that we showed enough to stay in the game, stay patient and wait for our time. The character we showed to do that and go on and win it will give us a big boost.”
He had special praise for top scorer Ollie Watkins, who missed a first-half penalty, gave away a spot-kick at the other end and then grabbed the stoppage-time winner.
“That takes character and a good mentality and he deserves that moment, but we need other goalscorers.”
Frank is adamant the best is yet to come from his side, who he believes have only had one truly below-par performance this season away at Preston.
He said: “We have players who have moved to this country, who are developing the right way and who are humble. After 12 games, I can look at our performances and say we have been pretty consistent but there is more to come from this group.
“Earlier in the season we lost 1-0 to Birmingham and tried to pound our way through. This time we were calmer and more patient and it showed we have learned a lot from that experience.”