Lions boss left feeling sick over Parrott as Tottenham man’s debut ends prematurely

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Gary Rowett won’t be too concerned about being out of the EFL Cup – but he will be sick over Parrott.

Wednesday night was the chance for Millwall fans to finally see their most high-profile signing of this transfer window in action. It proved to be anticlimactic.

And the fear now is that Troy Parrott could be missing for another stretch of the season after damaging his ankle in the 2-0 defeat to Burnley.

The on-loan Tottenham striker’s desire to make an impact in SE16 saw him struggle on until the interval even though his mobility was an issue.

Lions boss Rowett admitted it “did not look good” in terms of the damage Parrott had sustained.

After sitting out the first four fixtures with a quad problem he could now also be absent heading into a busy October where the South Londoners have six Championship matches.

It’s too early to draw emphatic conclusions about the Lions when we are still in the opening month of the 2020-21 campaign. But it seems a fair bet that they will once again be miserly at the back but perhaps also struggle to be free-scoring down the other end.

The hope is that Parrott, 18, can be that poacher when matches are decided on fine margins. And there were some glowing endorsements of his finishing in pre-season training.

But the best way to describe his opening weeks in a Millwall shirt are luckless.

Harry Kane scored in only one game out of his first 13 when he temporarily joined from Spurs in 2012. He finished with a bang though and went on to become the main man for the north Londoners and also England.

Parrott has arrived to some hype but perhaps his greatest challenge will be not to push his body too hard in his earnestness to make a positive impression.

The early crammed scheduling of the EFL Cup has helped Rowett share some competitive minutes around his squad – but the financial motivation to progress really isn’t there.

If you get picked for TV coverage there is a bit of extra cash heading your way but we now know that the return of supporters will not happen until at least a few months into 2021.

The Millwall chief left Jed Wallace – his most consistent creative spark – as an unused substitute.

Jake Cooper was afforded a complete rest. Mason Bennett and Mahlon Romeo also had reduced minutes in midweek. Tomorrow’s visit of Brentford undoubtedly took precedence.

The Lions probably edged the opening 45 minutes, only for a thunderous 25-yard hit from Josh Brownhill  to leave them trailing.

Burnley threatened a second in a good spell after the restart but we could have been set for a penalty shootout decider if Shaun Hutchinson had made more of an excellent left-wing delivery by Shane Ferguson.

The Clarets’ second came as Millwall pushed on for a leveller and were punished as Matej Vydra slipped the ball beyond Bartosz Bialkowski.

STAR MAN
Shaun Hutchinson. Not a night when the Lions’ attackers shone. Made one excellent block to halt Charlie Taylor’s run.

BEST MOMENT
Shane Ferguson whipping in a perfect ball – just a shame that Hutchinson couldn’t direct it on target.

PICTURES: BRIAN TONKS


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