Millwall boss on keeper battle and whether there could be changes there in the transfer window

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett doesn’t expect to have to make changes to the goalkeeping department in the next transfer window.

Bartosz Bialkowski – who will turn 35 in July – made his 138th consecutive Championship appearance for the Lions in their 1-0 defeat at AFC Bournemouth on the final day of last season.

George Long joined on a free transfer from Hull City last summer and outlined his determination to take the No.1 spot from Bialkowski.

Bialkowski, though, continued the excellent form that saw him named Millwall’s player of the year in 2019-20 and 2020-21. He finished third behind Murray Wallace and Danny McNamara last season.

Long, 28, was limited to cup appearances, playing three times in the EFL Cup and once in the FA Cup.

George Long made four cup appearances in 2021-22

Millwall have Ryan Sandford and Joe Wright as back-ups to Bialkowski and Long.

Rowett was asked if, given his stated ambition to be the club’s No.1 and his lack of minutes in the league, Long could try to seek first-team football elsewhere.

“George is under contract anyway,” Rowett said. “He’s a player that I always felt there might be an opportunity to get into the team and stake a claim for that shirt.

“I think Bart’s form, his professionalism and his determination has made it very difficult for Longy.

Bartosz Bialkowski is the man with the No.1 shirt

“But behind the scenes, in training, Longy has been superb. He’s deserved an opportunity.

“I think we have to come back and every player in the squad has to see an opportunity to stake a claim, including George, for a starting shirt next year.

“I think pre-season will be a battle again.”

Image: Millwall FC

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John Kelly