BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall signed Luke Steele on loan from Nottingham Forest today – with Frank Fielding facing up to four months out with a quad injury.
Summer signing Fielding was forced off in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Preston with the problem.
Lions manager Neil Harris has brought in Steele, 34, until January. The former Manchester United stopper has played just shy of 400 matches in a career which has taken in Barnsley and Greek club Panathinaikos.
“Luke has played for some really good clubs at this level and in Europe,” said Harris. “He has come in to compete with Bart [Bialkowski] – to wrestle for that jersey. It is a challenge he is well up for.
“With Frankie being out for a period of time we need that competition.
“We didn’t want a young goalkeeper to come in and develop under our watch when we need to make sure we are as strong as possible in that department. Bringing another experienced one in was always our plan.
“We can’t rush Frankie back, we need to make sure he gets the right recovery time. Bringing in Luke allows us to re-assess where everyone is at Christmas.
“We knew the way that Frankie felt and the way he did [his injury] that it wasn’t going to be a three or four-week job.
“It was always going to be a fairly long period. We now know we are talking about three or four months which is not great news for Frankie – because he had started the season with the jersey and wanted to prove himself in front of our fans. He’d certainly had a really strong pre-season.
“It is disappointing for him and for us. We’d worked hard over the summer to get him.
“But this is football. We have to be thankful it was the first game of the season and the transfer window was still open. That is the only small positive, that we’ve been able to bring Luke in.”