BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall manager Gary Rowett has hinted at boosting his squad numbers in the January transfer window – revealing that injuries and illness have depleted training numbers ahead of Saturday’s derby with Charlton Athletic.
Rowett took charge of the Lions at the end of last month.
Goalkeeper Frank Fielding (quad), Ryan Leonard (knee) and Tom Elliott (hamstring) are all sidelined.
“With Ryan Leonard we’re looking a little more around Christmas,” said Rowett. “He’s making good progress but we’ve just got to be a little bit careful with that one.
“Tom Elliott, because it was a re-occurrence of a hamstring, it is always difficult. You can get to 70 or 80 per cent and it’s the last bit that is always important.
“It’s too early to talk about how quickly they are coming back.
“What you do notice, coming in here, is that it is a very small squad. Even with training this week we’ve had a couple of players ill and you’re down to 15 or 16 bodies – which makes it very difficult to do the matchplay stuff.
“That’s something we’ll have to look at.
“I know from a financial perspective we need to keep that fairly tight. And from a culture perspective it’s always nice to have a smaller squad, which I like also. But we are quite short of numbers when we have two or three injuries.”
Jiri Skalak, who had been out with a foot and heel issue, played for the U23s last week but sat out Monday’s 2-2 draw in the Development League derby against Charlton at Calmont Road
“He was very close to being involved at the weekend,” said Rowett. “I just felt another week’s training with the group would put him in a better position.”