Millwall boss Gary Rowett has his say on Mason Bennett loan signing – as he looks to unlock Derby man’s potential

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Mason Bennett signed on loan for Millwall yesterday – and they have the option to make the Derby striker’s stay a permanent one.

The 23-year-old worked with Lions chief Gary Rowett at Pride Park.

And Rowett is confident that Bennett, who underwent his medical on Thursday morning, can give the Championship side an additional attacking dimension.

“You’re always looking for players who can give you that little bit different,” the Millwall manager told the South London Press. “We’ve got no-one with that raw pace and power in the forward line, so it is something we’ve missed a little bit in games.

“It has to be something that fits around the budget and what we want to do. He’s 23 and played a lot of football.

“He’s made some mistakes but this is a fresh start and we’ll see if we can get some of that potential out of him.

“He’s a really strong boy and he played in the play-off final last season as a number nine. He was highly-regarded and played 35 times last season.

“Mason is a player I’ve liked and worked with before. It’s about us getting him fit and giving him a little bit of confidence and a role in the team.

“If we can do that and get a little more of that potential out then he is going to be a really, really good addition for us.

“With any of these loans there is an option to make it permanent. That’s what we want – we can look in the short term and see if it is something we can do longer term.

“He needs to stay fit, that’s his challenge. He’s been a little bit unlucky with injuries.”

Bennett pleaded guilty to drink driving – along with Rams team-mate Tom Lawrence – at Derby Magistrates Court in October. The pair were ordered to undertake 80 hours of community service and rehab.

“What I would say is that he’s accepted that he has made mistakes,” said Rowett. “It is not something that I would condone or the club would condone.

“But he has been punished for it.

“We are the type of club which is going to pick people up and rehabilitate them and get them back to what they are about.”

 


 

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