Fixture list not kind for Millwall as they face Middlesbrough trek – and hosts have had more recovery time

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Neil Harris was set to deliberate yesterday over changes he will make for tomorrow’s match at Middlesbrough – but admits the EFL scheduling has not been kind to Millwall.

The Lions face a 440-mile round-trip to Teesside and the home side also have the advantage of playing 24 hours earlier.

“The fixtures and way the games have coincided haven’t been ideal for us,” said Harris. “We played with 10 men against Sheffield Wednesday and then had a tough, tough game at Fulham – with Boro playing on Tuesday. That doesn’t sit well with all the managers in the league – people playing different days. But it is what it is.

“We lost the day and have the travelling. We have to think about freshening the team up and using the players because we play again on Tuesday and Saturday.

“I need to spend some time over the next 24 hours studying Middlesbrough, looking at their strengths and weaknesses. But certainly some fresh faces will be coming into the reckoning.”

Jiri Skalak, pictured, is due to have a scan after suffering ankle ligament damage in west London. The former Brighton wideman was forced off after 39 minutes.

“We don’t know yet if we are looking at days or weeks,” said Harris. “Fingers crossed there is no telling damage. He has been flying in pre-season and has been patient in waiting for his chance. The red card for Jed [Wallace] gave him an opportunity to come into the team.

“It wasn’t the ideal game to go in to show his quality and now he will come back out. It’s a shame for everybody – I was looking forward to seeing him on Saturday at Boro.

“There was always going to be a fall for us somewhere this season and we had it at Fulham – but they were very, very good. That won’t be their biggest victory there this season. They are going to score lots of goals and play teams off the park.

“You have to take your medicine at times and take your hat off to the opposition.”

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