Millwall manager Gary Rowett: Injuries are making it a challenge – you’re almost looking at worst-best options when we are really stretched


Troy Parrott could be ready to play 75 minutes at Birmingham City tomorrow – with Millwall manager Gary Rowett delighted to finally see the striker in Championship action.

The 18-year-old, on a season-long loan from Tottenham, had been missing with ankle ligament damage but made his first league start for the Lions in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Reading.

Rowett has seen his attacking options depleted with Kenneth Zohore (calf), Connor Mahoney (quad), Mason Bennett (quad) and Tom Bradshaw (groin) all sitting out the last fixture. Only the latter could be available to face the Blues.

“Troy was one, because of the injury he had, that we could only play for 60 minutes regardless of how he feels,” said Rowett, right. “We felt we had to learn from the Ken incident and not push too hard with minutes. Ken felt good and ended up getting injured. Troy felt good, but we just can’t afford it. If he has come through the last game fine and feels no adverse effects we can push him a little closer towards 90 minutes.

“It’s a difficult scenario. You want to use U23 and friendly games to build minutes but he’s having to do it in the first-team when we’re trying to win games.

“But we need him available. We can’t afford for someone like Troy to be injured because we’re being greedy with minutes.

“We’ll have to see what his fatigue is like but if he got through okay then 75 minutes wouldn’t be unreasonable for the next game.”

Millwall have Mahlon Romeo (foot) and Billy Mitchell (hamstring) unavailable. Shaun Williams needed treatment against the Royals. Ryan Leonard is filling it at right-back to cover for Romeo instead of his natural role in the middle of the park.

Rowett said: “Willo ended up getting a dead leg. He’ll probably be a doubt for the weekend, simply because it is the third game in a week.

“When you see someone go down at the moment it’s almost like having to work out what the best-worst option is to fill the gap.

“You can look at Browny [James Brown] but he has just come back from injury and not had many first-team games, move Lenny into midfield and drop Thommo [Ben Thompson] back or Fergie [Shane Ferguson] at right-back. It’s a challenge at the moment.

“Some managers would only put six on the bench to over-egg the fact they’ve got injuries. But when I came into the job as Millwall manager part of the remit was that you grit your teeth and get on with it, like you expect the players to do. It is also what the club always does.

“But you could see at the end we had run out of attacking options. Reading had [Sone] Aluko, who didn’t even get on. But we still coped well and finished the stronger of the two.

“We have got to hang in there and wait for the cavalry. They are not coming for a while, that’s the challenge we have.”


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