Millwall boss Rowett: I expect Stoke City to be a stronger side this season

Millwall kick off their Championship season at home to Stoke City on Saturday – and Gary Rowett expects his former club to be a much stronger proposition.

The Lions chief had a spell in charge of this weekend’s opponents shortly after they had lost their Premier League status.

Stoke were in danger of the drop until pulling clear under Michael O’Neill, who inherited a side bottom of the standings when he replaced Nathan Jones in early November.

Rowett reckons City have the ingredients to be a top-10 contender.

“If you look at their squad they have got a lot of players and spent a lot of money building it,” said the Millwall manager. “What they’ve got now is a consistent edge and maybe some of the challenges coming out of the Premier League have diminished a little bit.

“They can look at this season with a lot less of those hangovers and issues. I think they’ll be stronger and more consistent. I expect them to be around the top 10.”

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