Millwall boss on what most concerned Jed Wallace during constant January transfer speculation

GARY Rowett said Jed Wallace was more concerned about not being able to play rather than the constant transfer speculation around him in January.

Wallace, 27, had been well on course to hit double-figures in goals for a third consecutive season when he had five by October, but then a quad injury in December kept him out of action for almost two months.

Nottingham Forest bid for Wallace last month and Besiktas were also interested in securing him on a pre-contract agreement for a move to the top flight in Turkey in the summer.

Wallace returned as he made two substitute appearances against Preston and Fulham before starting against Cardiff and QPR, helping the side to two wins in the latter games.

Wallace was outstanding against QPR, producing a brilliant cross-field pass to Scott Malone who set up Mason Bennett for the first goal, before a sumptuous flick through his legs assisted Tyler Burey for the second.

Millwall attacker Jed Wallace

Rowett was never worried that the speculation would affect Wallace’s performances on the pitch.

And he’s pleased at how quickly the attacker has regained his top form.

“Jed’s the type of player that he wants to be out playing football,” Rowett said. “Part of his frustration, I don’t think it was necessarily the January situation, it was that he wanted to play.

“When you’re out injured and there’s loads of speculation that’s not particularly a great place for a player to be in. You want to be playing football and showing it on the pitch.

“He’s come back in and put in a couple of really good performances. He got chucked back into action really quickly just because of the necessity of it.

“We tried not to start him straightaway, we thought it would be unfair to chuck him right in from the start.

“Certainly the other night [against QPR], his overall energy, performance, movement, brightness was there for everyone to see.

“Long may that continue, he’s the type of player who wants to perform like that in every game.

“That competition for places is going to be useful for us when, finally, we have some options in forward areas rather than everyone being injured.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly