Lee Gregory: Millwall man has showed he is able to play striking role

By Richard Cawley

Lee Gregory reckons Fred Onyedinma has thrown himself into the centre-forward mix at Millwall and added: “He has got everything.”

The Lions have seen their striking options depleted with Tom Elliott missing out due to a hamstring strain.

It has increased the workload on Gregory and Steve Morison but Onyedinma started and scored in a frontline role in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Barnsley.

The 21-year-old has struggled to make an impact in the first half of the season but his finish against the Tykes opened his goal account for the campaign.

Gregory said: “Fred has got everything – pace, power and technical ability – it’s just about getting that from the training ground to the games. Once he grasps that then he’ll go far.

“Steve and myself have played more or less every game and before the gaffer has not really had the choice to mix it up. Fred did well on Saturday – he came in and scored a goal – it is good for the gaffer to look at that and see he can do a job there.”

Gregory feels the way that Millwall performed to book their fourth round slot in the FA Cup will have left manager Neil Harris with some tricky selection calls.

The Sheffield-born striker was benched and only came on in the closing stages of the tie against the Tykes.

Gregory said: “No excuses – we weren’t good enough at Norwich. Was the manager looking to rest me on Saturday? Who knows, but the lads who came in were excellent.

“They are fighting for the shirt now and the gaffer has got a hard decision about who he wants to play.

“I want to play. I wanted to play Saturday. But the boys who came on got a 4-1 win. If they are not playing then they’ll be asking questions when they performed like that at the weekend.

“Everyone did well. There were a few candidates for man of the match but I’d have given it to Ben [Thompson]. Aiden [O’Brien] got two goals and an assist. It was a good game to watch apart from the first 15 minutes when we went 1-0 down – after that the lads turned it on.

“We kept the ball very well. When I came on I don’t think I touched the ball because we were keeping it between the midfield and the back four.”

Next up is Preston at The Den. Gregory sat out the reverse fixture at Deepdale as he served a three-match ban for his dismissal against QPR.

He said: “I was banned at their ground but they are a team like us – big, powerful and fast going forward. This is going to be one of the hardest tests we have had this year.

“If they perform like they do at home then it’s going to be difficult.”

Gregory is hoping the Lions can progress in the FA Cup and admits that Old Trafford is the one stadium he would love to play at.

First the South Londoners need to take care of Rochdale in the fourth round later this month.

“You always want big names but it’s a good draw for us at home,” said Gregory. “That was what I said to the lads before – anyone at home.

“It gives us a chance to get through to the next round.

“A run in the competition is good for us and it’s good for the fans. We want to play the big boys and the supporters want to see that too.

“If we can beat Rochdale and get into the hat then hopefully we can get a West Ham, like the gaffer said. It would be brilliant for us.”

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