CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Millwall vs. Reading

SHANE Ferguson could be back for the visit of Reading on Wednesday night – while Millwall boss Gary Rowett hasn’t fully ruled out Mahlon Romeo.

Connor Mahoney and Mason Bennett are out, as the Lions aim for a first home win in four home games.

“Fergie will assessed before the game, but his back has settled quite well so we’re hopeful he’ll be available,” Rowett said.

“Mahlon looks unlikely that he’ll make it on time but again we’ll assess him as close to the game as possible.

“We’re hoping that neither [Mahoney nor Bennett] are as bad as first feared. Mason looks like a 10-day to a two-week injury.

“Connor’s looks like another week on top of that. But they don’t look too serious. That’s what we’re hoping.

“I know at the moment two weeks is still quite a few games but initially we feared it would be double or treble that time out.”

Troy Parrott should be available for potentially a first league start of the season.

Parrott could line up alongside Matt Smith, who got his first Championship goal of the campaign against Cardiff last Saturday.

“We saw a lot of Troy in pre-season and we were all very excited to see if he could hit the ground running,” Smith said. “Unfortunately for him he picked up a couple of injuries and that can knock your confidence and knock you off your stride.

“But now he’s back fit and hopefully he can prove to be that extra bit of quality at the top end of the pitch that we need.

“Fingers crossed he can be a good foil for the other strikers and make an impact.”

Millwall are ninth in the table, four points off sixth, and have lost just twice in 12 games.

Smith added: “We’ve been very difficult to beat, we’ve been resolute. I think what’s lacking now is just that clinical side to us which has mostly been the tale of the last year. Hopefully we can add that to our game and turn these draws into wins.

“Wins are what make the difference in this league. I think West Brom drew 17 times and [got promoted] but I don’t think we can rely on that, we’re going to need to turn out some wins.

“We’ve shown that we’re more than capable of taking it to any team in the league, so it’s down to us, really.

“We’ve not had a lot of luck with injuries so far but hopefully we can stay as fit as possible because we have a thinner squad.”

Possible Millwall starting XI: 5-2-3: Bialkowski; Leonard, Hutchinson, Pearce, Cooper, Malone; Woods, Williams; J Wallace, Smith, Parrott.

Match odds: Millwall 4/7 Draw 21/10 Reading 12/5

Last meeting: Championship (January 18, 2020): Millwall 2-0 Reading (Smith 71, Bödvarsson 82).

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly