Gary Rowett is set to use Millwall’s remaining matches to answer some squad questions which will aid his planning for next season.
The Lions only have pride left to play for as they are 10 points adrift of the Championship play-offs with only five matches left to go, starting with a trip across the capital to high-flying Brentford on Saturday.
“We need to learn lessons in the last five games – in terms of what we need for next year,” said Rowett. “We want to finish strongly, but my main aim is to learn one or two things for next season that will be even more important that how many games we win between now and the end of the season, quite frankly.
“It will be more around one or two positions and whether one or two players we have got can fill them. We need to look at one or two areas to see what we need to do – a bit of a blend, a bit of a mix. To the naked eye it might not look too experimental, but there are some things I want to get out of the last five games.
“If I simply set out to win the last five games, which is what you’d want to do, I’m not going to learn some of the lessons that are going to be crucial to next season. I have to try and find a balance.
“I always mentioned [the play-offs] because that is the aim, that’s the target. You want to be aspirational. You never say: ‘Yeah, I’d like to finish mid-table, that will be brilliant’ because to me that sounds unambitious. But the little run we had just before the turn of the year, we always knew that would be difficult to make those points back up. That little period where we had some key injuries and a few out of form was a crucial time for us. It made that top-six chase a very different one.
“But when you’re in with a chance you have got to try and seize it – to push on towards those aims. That’s what we tried to do. No disgrace but we’ve fallen a tiny bit short this season.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.