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Gallagher must learn to live with special attention as Championship's marked man

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Conor Gallagher has enjoyed better games in South London this season but Swansea City’s 1-1 draw away to Millwall last night made it clear that he has become a marked man in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Chelsea midfielder, on loan in South Wales after a successful first-half of the campaign at Charlton Athletic, is still getting used to the skin-tight attention he is now receiving but it is all part of the sharp learning curve the 20-year-old is riding in this extended campaign.

As an indicator of the care opponents are taking to quieten Gallagher, who is yet to score for Swansea after finding the net six times at Charlton, he was fouled five times at the Den, more than any other player.

But he still played a role in the goal that earned Swansea a point in a game that was a must-win for both teams by being hauled down on the penalty arc by Shaun Hutchinson.

Rhian Brewster, the Liverpool striker also on loan, found the net via the underside of the crossbar and a deflection off Millwall goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

There were only fleeting moments of freedom for Gallagher in a disappointing collective performance from the visitors but he still had more attempts than any player on the pitch.

He had a shot under pressure from long range sail well over in the eighth minute and had a goalbound first-time effort from a George Byers pass blocked by the head of Ryan Woods and out for a corner eight minutes after that.

Another low, driven attempt early in the second period was turned out for a corner by Bialkowski.

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The big test now is for Gallagher to learn how to deal with the extra focus from opponents, figure out ways to be as influential despite being double teamed.

Marc Guehi, the other Chelsea loanee at Swansea, came on for the final nine minutes and made a good block to deny Tom Bradshaw with his first action.

The defender’s game time has not been as pleintful as initially hoped, making five starts since moving in January, but he is expected to stay at Swansea next season to continue his development.




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