CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Millwall vs. Wycombe Wanderers

GEORGE Evans has revealed how far Gary Rowett goes to help new players settle in.

Evans, 26, joined Millwall in the last transfer window, having spent the majority of his career with clubs in the north apart from a spell at Reading.

Former Manchester City midfielder Evans moved to the capital with his girlfriend, making the decision after speaking with her and his dad, following a conversation with Rowett.

Lions boss Rowett’s family home is in the Midlands and he moved to an apartment in Canary Wharf with then-assistant Callum Davidson when they were appointed in October 2019. Most of the Millwall squad are based in areas around Bromley and Biggin Hill.

Evans was convinced about the move after speaking to Rowett when Derby accepted a bid for him.

“I had a Zoom call with Gary before coming here and after a half-hour conversation my heart was set. He’s a good guy, he made me feel very welcome,” Evans said.

“As soon as I got off the call with him I spoke with my dad and my girlfriend and we said this was the right move.

“Gary seems like a fantastic man-manager and he spoke to me over the first week about how I was settling in. That’s been a big help for me.

“Sometimes you come to a new place, you don’t know where anyone is based, where to live, what to do.

“Straightaway he was telling me areas to look at, getting me places to view.

“But also talking to me about the football side of it, what he wants, what he likes and doesn’t like. So I think I learned very quickly. I was grateful he put me straight in to start because I thought that was the best thing for me.

“Looking back, starting and getting a win on my debut was perfect for me.”

Evans was no stranger to Millwall’s fortunes in recent seasons, making sure to keep up to date with how former team-mates including Jake Cooper, Tom Bradshaw, Alex Pearce were faring.

“Coops is a fantastic player,” Evans said. “I’ve known him from our Reading days and even when I was at Derby I was I was looking out for Millwall’s results. I kept in contact with them, there’s a really good set of lads down here and it was good to see them doing so well recently.

“Hopefully we can now kick on and have a really positive season.”

Bottom side Wycombe are the visitors to SE16 this Saturday. Evans kicked off his Lions career by helping the side win in the league at home for the first time in almost four months with their 4-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Evans has been on the winning side in his three games since joining the Lions.

Evans had a good record at The Den before joining Millwall, playing twice in Bermondsey and winning twice with Walsall in 2015-16 and Derby last season.

Now he wants to help get his new team up the table.

“I played at The Den a few times and it’s never a nice place to come. They were always tough games,” he said.

“I found difficulties coming here, it’s not easy to come here and try to play football.

“Now I’m part of this team so every team that comes here I’ll try to help make it as hard as possible for them.”

Millwall were already without Ryan Leonard, Murray Wallace, Connor Mahoney, Shaun Williams, Kenneth Zohore and Maikel Kieftenbeld before Cooper dislocated his shoulder against Birmingham on Wednesday night.

Kieftenbeld is likely the only one with a chance of facing Gareth Ainsworth’s side.

The Chairboys have won just two Championship games away from home this season, the second 3-2 at Huddersfield last Saturday.

Possible Millwall starting XI: 4-2-3-1: Bialkowski; Romeo, Hutchinson, Pearce, Malone; Evans, Woods; J Wallace, Thompson, Bennett; Smith.

Match odds: Millwall 4/6 Draw 3/1 Wycombe 5/1

Last meeting: Championship (October 17, 2020): Wycombe 1-2 Millwall (Kashket 9’; J Wallace 48’, Leonard 63’).

Image: Millwall FC