Millwall boss wants to take ‘different route’ with attacking recruitment focussing on specific type

MILLWALL are “confident” that they will be able to reinvigorate their attack with new signings this month as they aim to go down a “different route.”

Lions manager Gary Rowett said the club are targeting “young, mobile, up-and-coming strikers” that can add “freshness” to the squad.

That would be a further departure from the ‘little and large’ combination that defined previous boss Neil Harris’ recruitment strategy. In Harris’ last transfer window at the club Millwall signed Matt Smith and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, physical players but who lack pace and mobility.

Rowett has attempted to evolve the side away from a rigid 4-4-2, signing more dynamic players such as Mason Bennett, Benik Afobe and Sheyi Ojo.

But Millwall have still struggled to match their rivals for a play-off spot by having a prolific goal-scoring forward. Jed Wallace has shouldered that burden from midfield with 10 goals in each of the last two seasons.

Rowett knows to challenge for the top six the Lions need a forward who can get into the mid to high double-figures. Fifteen players in the Championship have more goals this season than Millwall’s top-scorer Tom Bradshaw, who has seven but who is now injured.

Smith joined Salford City this week and Bodvarsson is also close to leaving, though the latter has not been in the first-team frame this season.

Wallace could also leave this month, while Ojo and Bradshaw are side-lined.

The Lions’ top-scorer Tom Bradshaw is out injured

“We wouldn’t let those players out if we weren’t going to bolster the attack,” Rowett said when asked if he was confident of strengthening his attack this month. “Sometimes as a manager you have to accept and look at players that have had limited impact on the team in terms of goals.

“I know that’s sometimes down to opportunity but what I mean is that you therefore have to go and let them play. We’ve spoken about it in previous windows about letting people go and play games.

“We want to go down a slightly different route and I’m confident we’ll be able to do that. Our aim is to recruit younger, mobile, up-and-coming strikers that will give us an opportunity to do that.

“We’ll aim to do that as best we can. Within that we might have to look at a short-term option or two to get through to the end of the season if we can’t sign who we want.

“That’s the target. The club, the owner and myself have all spoken about how we’d like to go with that sort of plan.

“We need a little bit of freshness around and newness to the group and that’s what we intend to do.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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