Millwall manager on new EFL substitutions rule

GARY Rowett has hinted the move to five substitutions in the EFL next season could have a bearing on Millwall’s transfer activity.

Clubs had been able to send on three substitutes from seven available. The match-day squads will remain at 18.

Rowett said the change allows “one or two more forward options”. Millwall have signed attacking midfielder Zian Flemming for a club-record fee. Another attacking midfielder, George Honeyman, is set to follow and forward Benik Afobe will return on a permanent transfer after he scored 13 goals on loan from Stoke City last season.

EF clubs were allowed to make five substitutions upon the resumption of football in 2019-20 and the following season, but that reverted to three in the last campaign.

Clubs in UEFA competitions could make five substitutions last season.

“I think it gives you a greater flexibility to change things late on,” Rowett said. “You can have a bit more of a plan, because you know if you get one injury or someone isn’t playing well, that might be two subs, but you’ve still got three left.

“So I think you have to have a plan to start the game, no different to any other game, but then you have to have a plan for how you finish it. Whether you’re behind, whether you’re drawing, home or away, or whether you’re winning.

“I think what it does is that it gives you greater flexibility, the obvious thing is that it allows you to house maybe one or two more forward options. But it also allows you to change one or two other areas.

“For example, it might be that we try to bring in two really attacking wing-back options, so that if we’re chasing the game late on, that might be something we look to two, or you put two wingers there to try and chase the game late on.

“So there’s different ways of doing it. How we’ll do that, we’ll sort of work through privately until the start of the season, but I think they’re the options.”

Image: Millwall FC

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