Millwall boss admits dilemma over Billy Mitchell – and gives more insight into transfer plans

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Billy Mitchell could be set to get his chance to shine for Millwall – but manager Gary Rowett reckons he has a dilemma over the teenager.

The Lions are heavily depleted in central midfield with Ben Thompson (ankle) and Ryan Leonard (knee) both sidelined.

Thompson, 24, damaged ankle ligaments at Derby County last weekend and is due to see a specialist next week.

That only leaves Shaun Williams and Brighton loanee Jayson Molumby, in his first season of senior football, as natural midfield options along with Mitchell, 18.

Mitchell made his first-team debut at the end of last season and also started in the EFL Cup at Oxford United.

Rowett reckons that Millwall’s squad size gives a dilemma when it comes to strengthening next month.

He said: “It’s an awkward one because sometimes you can be down to two players in a specific position but within a couple of weeks end up with four or five players.

“But there is a lot of uncertainty in there. Lenny’s had a little bit of a setback and he’s not going to be back in the next week or two, he’s going to be a little bit longer. If Thommo ends up being out for a while it leaves us very light in there.

“Billy is one that at some point we’re going to have to make a decision on.

“It’s whether he gets an opportunity – which would be good because I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.

“But, at the same time, when you’re a young player like that it is whether you dip them in and out? Or do you give them 20 games somewhere to develop long term? It’s a hard one.

“Certainly in that central area – I’m talking about central midfield and probably a [number] 10 – we’re a little bit light in terms of natural players in those positions.

“It’s an area we’re looking at anyway. I don’t think it massively changes what we were looking to do. But it just slightly changes the type of player that we were looking at recently.”

Right-back Jason McCarthy (toe) and goalkeeper Frank Fielding (quad) are back in full training.


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