BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett admits that Connor Mahoney’s last couple of displays have strongly pushed his claim for a bigger role at Millwall.
The winger came off the bench to score his first goal for the club in the 3-1 victory over Luton on New Year’s Day.
And Mahoney converted from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Newport County in the FA Cup.
The former Bournemouth, Birmingham and Blackburn wideman has to be in the mix to start in the Championship fixture at Stoke City on Saturday.
Rowett said: “The biggest positive was that it [the tie against Newport] was another opportunity for players to stake a claim in the team – that’s what you’re always looking for.
“Connor could see it was another good chance to put another good performance in. We’ve always got to remember he’s a young lad who has come to Millwall and is not that type of archetypal Millwall player in terms of outwardly showing grit and drive in terms of tackles and the way he competes.
“But he’s a player with great ability and what we’ve seen in the last couple of games is him forcing the issue a little bit and being more positive – getting the rewards for that positivity.
“I’m pleased for him. It’s been a tough period. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times – what we’re looking for – and I feel as though in the last couple of games he has certainly delivered that.
“Hopefully he can build on those performances.
“We were looking for one or two more of those type of performances – these type of games give that opportunity. Connor is one that has certainly tried to make picking a team really difficult for me.”