Millwall options depleted as boss Gary Rowett uses fixture-free midweek to aid recovery

Millwall manager Gary Rowett is using the fact his side have no midweek fixture to aid their recovery before the busy festive period.

The Lions were missing six senior players for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Nottinghan Forest and that meant youngsters Junior Tiensia, Tyler Burey and Hayden Muller were on the bench.

Forest, by contrast, could leave Joe Lolley, Anthony Knockaert, Harry Arter and Lyle Taylor out of their starting 11.

Ryan Woods, Scott Malone and Shane Ferguson were new absentees for the SE16 outfit at the weekend.

Asked about the trio, Rowett replied: “We’ve got a combination of a little bit of illness and injury. If you look at the players we had at – and I’m not making excuses as I think we did enough to win the game with the squad that got on the pitch – then we’ve got some big players missing.

“Sometimes just being able to put those couple of extra bits of quality on the pitch wins you the game.

“We’re having to patch up a little bit and get through this period. It’s two very positive performances. I can’t say we should’ve won the game really because we didn’t score the second goal, but we were the better side and probably deserved something more than a draw.”

Millwall head to AFC Bournemouth on Boxing Day before hosting Watford on December 29.

“It’s a week for us to recover – I think most teams will have to use it the same way,” said Rowett. “Everyone is finding week to week is so sporadic with injuries, with Covid and with the intensity of games.

“Just to be able to breathe for a few days, it feels nicer to do that off the back of two good performances rather than off the back of a run where we’ve not won for a while.”

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