‘That’s a compliment about his character’ – Millwall boss on Billy Mitchell eagerness and latest injury

GARY Rowett said Billy Mitchell would have been a “huge addition” to the squad only for another hamstring injury to rule the midfielder out until January.

Mitchell, 19, returned to under-23 action this month after tearing his hamstring in pre-season training, but got injured again in a Professional Development League game against Wigan last week just as he was coming into contention to face Neil Harris’ Cardiff at the weekend.

Rowett knows it’s a tough one to take for the youngster.

“The first time his mentality was unbelievable straightaway, this time it might take him time to get his head around it,” Rowett said.

“In Billy’s case it’s always a hard one because whenever you put him out on the pitch he almost does more than he needs to do. That’s a compliment but also when he’s coming back from injury he has to learn his own body because sometimes you’ve got to feel your way back into it rather than being at the absolute of your limits.

“In his case it was just that over-exuberance of youth. Again, that’s a compliment about his character.

“If he’d stayed fit he would have been a huge addition for us at this point of the season.

“I spoke about it at the start of the season, we’re in such a different type of season it’s going to be survival of the fittest. It’s whichever squad gets through with the right amount of players for the right amount of games that is going to have a chance of being successful.

“What we can’t afford is lots and lots of injuries at the wrong times. Unfortunately at this moment we’ve got to accept it and get on with it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly