Millwall boss provides selection hint ahead of Portsmouth's Carabao Cup trip to The Den
Gary Rowett will look set to field a strong Millwall team for Pompey’s visit to The Den in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
The Lions boss claims it’s a route he will go down as tonight’s fixture will be the Londoners’ first at home since February 2020 without fan restrictions.
He also said the game against the Blues would enable his players ‘to be even better’ as he kept one eye on Saturday’s game against Blackburn in the Championship.
Millwall kicked of their 2021-22 campaign with a 1-1 draw at QPR at the weekend.
Rowett handed debuts to four of his new summer recruits – Scott Malone, Daniel Ballard, George Saville and Benik Afobe.
But there was no place for long-time Pompey target Ben Thompson, who didn’t even make the bench for the game at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
It will be interesting to see if the one-time Blues loanee and former Fratton favourite gets the chance to line up against his former side tonight.
And if he does, there’s no doubt he’ll be the focus of attention from the away end as many of the Pompey support would love to see him back at PO4.
Yet, according to Rowett, that appears unlikely as he looks to keep his own fans happy and maintain some early momentum within his side.
Speaking about his potential team selection for the visit of Pompey, the Millwall manager told Londonewsonline: ‘It’s quite a difficult one this season, it’s our first game in front of our home fans.
‘I appreciate it won’t be packed out and a full house because you can’t expect fans to come to those types of games, or all to come to those types of games, that’s normal.
‘We want to put a strong side out. It’s always a difficult one because people say you don’t want to get injuries – and I understand that – but you’re one game into the season.
‘So, for me, there are players that need minutes, there are players that need to go out there and go again for them to be even better on Saturday.
‘And there are players that we can take out and maybe not affect the energy and performance of the team.
‘I don’t think I’ll make too many changes but we’ll look at today and see what we need.’