Millwall boss on why he has no worries about his squad’s energy levels ahead of Norwich’s Den visit


Millwall manager Gary Rowett says he has no worries about his players not being bang at it for tomorrow’s Championship home game against Norwich City.

A crowd of more than 18,000 is expected at The Den with the visitors selling both tiers of the away end.

Rowett is hoping that George Saville is fit for selection after the experienced midfielder missed Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Luton Town with tight calves.

Joint top-scorer Tom Bradshaw and Jamie Shackleton were also withdrawn in the closing stages at Kenilworth Road with muscle strains.

The Lions, fifth in the table, are already without Billy Mitchell and Mason Bennett, ruled out with ankle injuries.

Millwall are unbeaten in their last 11 league matches in SE16, winning six and drawing five of them.

“When I get to Saturday I won’t be concerned about the players’ energy – it’s a home game for us against a good team,” Rowett told the South London Press.

“Our fans, and the players, will always get the energy levels at the right place.

“At this stage of the season it is normal to manage one or two players. Part of the decision-making process when you pick the team is that you’ve got to think about some of the next games and next periods as well – which other players are out and where are we light in the squad? Do we take risks?

“You have to throw all of those things into the melting pot and try your best to make reasonably good decisions.

“Sav was just really tight and fatigued after the games and there is no recovery time at the moment.

“I didn’t want to risk losing him or, more importantly, him going out there and not able to perform to the level that he needs and the team needs.

“It was a bit like Bradders a couple of weeks before that – I made a view that it was best to leave him out and hold fire. Hopefully then he is okay for the weekend, which is what we would be working towards.

“I’ve spoken to lots of managers after games in the past few weeks and everyone is the same – they have got players on the edge, ones on the borderline of getting injured and players who are trying to get through things.

“Some squads are bigger and can cope with it more than a smaller squad.

“We run a smaller squad, that’s just the reality – you end up being extended a little bit more.

“We’re in an unusual period, because of games being cancelled, of something like seven games in three-and-a-half weeks. That’s the second period we’ve had like that.

“I know people out there think players can just go and go and go. But there are not many sports where you have to perform with such intensity in such a short space of time. You’ve got to do that every two to three days.

“It’s a challenge we have got to navigate – it’s part and parcel of what we do.”

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