Millwall boss on where winger could play in 5-3-2 ahead of clash with former club Bournemouth

GARY Rowett said there is a place for Connor Mahoney in the current preferred 5-3-2 formation – and the Lions boss is hoping the attacker can “kick on” next season.

Mahoney, 24, missed five months of this season through two quad injuries and has yet to start since his return, coming on as a substitute against Rotherham and Swansea.

His last start was in the 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield in October and with Rowett playing three natural central midfielders and two strikers, Mahoney’s chances of being in the starting line-up would appear to be limited over the last four games.

But Rowett has spoken about taking “gambles” and “learning one or two things” for next season and that, along with injuries to attackers Kenneth Zohore and Matt Smith, as well as the intense nature of the season meaning others could need a rest, could give Mahoney an opportunity.

Millwall play Mahoney’s former club Bournemouth at The Den on Wednesday evening.

“Connor’s one of those that can fit centrally into that formation either as an attacking midfielder or as one of the front two,” Rowett told NewsAtDen.

“There are some players that are not a natural fit in some formations sometimes but I think it’s up to them to find that balance of where they fit in that.

“Connor’s a difficult one because he’d been out for such a long time and his match fitness is not where you’d want it to be, and it’s hard to give him that at this stage of the season easily.

“But he’ll continue to try to build it up as the season comes to a finish and hopefully we’ll at the very least have a fit player next season to try to kick on.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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