Millwall still set to be missing a number of first-teamers for friendly at Gillingham tonight

Millwall manager Gary Rowett does not expect to welcome back many of his players who missed Saturday’s friendly defeat at Arsenal for tonight’s trip to Gillingham.

Bart Bialkowski, George Saville, Shaun Hutchinson, Maikel Kieftenbeld and Jed Wallace all missed the 4-1 reverse to the Gunners, in a behind-closed-doors fixture in north London.

Millwall have one more tune-up after their match in Kent this evening, heading to Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Lions boss Rowett said: “We won’t be much different on Tuesday.

“We’ve gone from a pandemic to a pingdemic. We’ve had quite a few who have had to isolate, for different reasons – and one or two with niggles unfortunately.

“You could have the argument it is better to lose them now when you’re in pre-season but when your preparation is going well it is not ideal to be without four, five or six first-team players.

“At Gillingham we’ll probably go with a slightly mixed team again, try and get some good minutes into the players’ legs.

“Hopefully by the Ipswich game we will be a little bit closer to full availability but then some players will not have trained for 10 days – it’s quite hard to chuck them straight back into a match.

“It is not ideal, but I think a lot of clubs are going to be in the same situation. The main focus is that everyone is available for the first game of the season.

“Whether they’ve had two or three 90 minutes under their belts, because of the weather and the way covid is still affecting, it is difficult to get lots of lots of those.”



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