Millwall are set to name a far stronger side for today’s EFL Cup tie at Crawley Town than they would in a normal campaign – with Gary Rowett adamant they want to progress to the next round.
The Championship season starts on September 12 but the competitive campaign kicks off today for the Lions in West Sussex.
Rowett had talked before about treating the tie as part of their friendly programme but will be limited in the amount of substitutions he can make.
“It’s 100 per cent a game that we’ll go out and try and do everything we can to win – I don’t think you can turn that on and off like a light switch,” said the Millwall manager. “We can’t turn up on Saturday and not want to win one game and then try and win the next one.
“It has to be a culture that runs and drives through the club.”
Millwall’s last pre-season friendly was a 1-0 loss to Palace at The Den on Tuesday.
Rowett said: “When the EFL decided the first game was on September 12 we had planned our pre-season around that. Then the decision about the cup game was only made after that. I’m not blaming anyone.
“But we’d planned our whole structure around four-and-a-bit weeks – as it happens the first competitive game is three-and-a-bit weeks. We have to make sure players get minutes.
“Whenever you see whatever team we put out it will probably be far stronger than the normal Carabao Cup team we put out. Normally it’s the second game of the season and you give a few players a chance in that.
“We’ll be treating this as another game to get ready for the league but want to win it.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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