BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett knows he has the support of Millwall chairman John Berylson in the January transfer window – but reckons everyone in his squad will get a chance to show what they can do.
The 45-year-old was appointed the Lions new manager a week ago and started his reign with a 2-0 win at home against Stoke City, who sacked him at the start of 2019, on Saturday.
Rowett says that exact figures had not been discussed with the club’s American owner over the funds available to remould the squad.
But he added: “The chairman has always said to me – throughout the whole process – that we’re the type of club who want to support whatever you want to do.
“You’re not going to be able to go and sign a player for £10million in January, but along the way we might need one or two positions to help get the best out of the other players.
“There have been no real figures put on that. How can we improve the current group and very quickly assess which can move the team forward?
“Likewise I’ll always try to be honest. If I feel there are players we can’t give enough game time to I always try to be respectful of them and be really honest. That door will always be open.
“The lions’ share, and that isn’t meant as a pun, of those players we see as really exciting to work with.
“There is loads of potential in the group.
“There are some really exciting young players – quick – who we feel we can improve and add an element of control to. And also good experience in there to help the team achieve what we want to achieve.
“I never want to be quite as condescending to say it is a completely blank sheet – we’ve seen a lot of the players over the years and you’ll always have your opinions.
“But there is an opportunity for all to impress us – either to stay in the team or to get in the team. It’s not a huge squad. We’re going to need everybody. There will be an opportunity in what is a mad Championship season- you’re never too far away from another fixture.”
Rowett describes working for a stable owner like Berylson as “huge” in his desire to succeed Neil Harris as manager in SE16.
“You look for the type of club you want to join next – these managerial positions are so sought after,” he said.
“This is exactly what we were looking for. An honest club, in the way that they work, and also the way the owner spoke about their transparency – the supportive side of what they try to do.”