GARY Rowett is focused on strengthening Millwall’s squad for 2021-22 – and he is confident Jed Wallace will be part of that group as the Lions aim to challenge for the play-offs.
Millwall are trying to finish in the top 10 in consecutive seasons at this level for the first time since 2005. Rowett believes he is a few additions away from having a squad to take the club to the next level.
Wallace, 27, has scored 10 league goals for the second season in a row and is sure to attract attention from other clubs this summer.
Millwall are trying to agree a new long-term contract with the former Wolves attacker. Rowett feels the club are in a good position to retain arguably their best players.
“I think yes because he’s our player. He’s got another year on his contract,” Rowett said.
“The right people sit down with Jed’s representatives and see where it’s at, but all I do as a manager is say Jed’s performed really well, fantastically well again this season.
“I believe he’s been one of the most consistent performers in the Championship. And the rest will be out of my hands. I don’t focus too much on it, I don’t think too much about it.
“I think more about building our squad for next season – and hopefully that includes Jed.”
Wallace and players such as Mason Bennett have been playing through the pain barrier recently.
But despite little to play for with two games left, Rowett explained why he’s unlikely to give them an early summer break.
“I’ve been at clubs where players are almost not wanting to play. Players are almost taking themselves out of the firing line,” Rowett said.
“I’d like to think that we’re the sort of squad that players want to play. If I was a player and someone said to me, ‘do you want a rest this weekend?’ I think I’d turn around and say, ‘no chance’.
“We’ve got those types of players. This week will dictate because we’ve got a little bit of recovery time, a little bit of an extra breather.
“Hopefully by the weekend we’ve at least got those options.”
Meanwhile, Millwall would like to tie down Hayden Muller, 19, to a new long-term deal.
Rowett explained why he has been patient with the the talented defender.
“He’s one that’s got a bright future,” Rowett said. “The only thing at the moment that could stop Hayden playing more regularly is just that position that he’s in.
“If he were a winger or a midfielder there would be a good chance he wouldn’t need as much physicality. I think at the back in those central defensive areas that’s something that will come with age and experience.
“But he’s technically very good, he reads the game so well and he’s going to be a very good player in the future.
“A lot of that will be down to him, but I’ve been really pleased with him.”
Image: Millwall FC