BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall will be without at least eight first-teamers for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Everton – with boss Neil Harris set to promote some youngsters to his matchday squad.
Ben Marshall, Ben Thompson, Fred Onyedinma, Sid Nelson and Tom King are all cup-tied – with the first two almost guaranteed to have been starters otherwise.
But the Championship side are also missing Tom Elliott (shoulder), Tom Bradshaw (knee) and Conor McLaughlin (quad).
“The squad is very light for the weekend,” said Lions boss Neil Harris. “A couple of young players will come into our squad from the U23s or U18s, because needs must.
“We gave permission for players to play [for their loan clubs in the FA Cup], you have to balance off where players are at the time. If they are in a good rhythm of play then you don’t want them to lose their place. There are so many ifs and buts – are they going to be coming back or not into our team? They all went out to gain experience and playing in the FA Cup is a good experience.
“That is not helping us now.”
Now comes a chance for the Lions to face Everton under the lights at The Den.
“It’s what the FA Cup is all about,” said Harris. “I think their team who played at Southampton last week had £220million-worth of players, that shows the magnitude of the club.
“I’m sure Marco [Silva] will make changes but he has a 25-man Premier League squad at his disposal, full of class and quality.
“The cup is steeped in tradition and history of giving an underdog an opportunity. That’s us at the weekend. We need to rely on Everton not being at their best and we have to be at our best, individually and collectively.
“We’re at The Den in front of a full house, that immediately closes the gap between the teams. The atmosphere in the stadium will be electric.
“The fans will come with a nothing-to-lose attitude. There are no expectations on our shoulders whatsoever.
“My message to the players is to enjoy it – make it as difficult and hostile as possible for Everton.”