Millwall's Harris wary of Swindon – despite Robins' injuries

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris says his players will have to be patient against a Swindon team he expects to come to The Den to try to frustrate his side.

The Robins are currently in 19th place in the Sky Bet League One table despite being one of the most active sides in the division in the transfer window this season.

Swindon have signed 19 players either permanently or on loan but will arrive in south London with a weakened squad.

They could be missing up to 12 players through injury and suspension and have just two centre-backs available this weekend.

But manager Mark Cooper, who guided the club to the brink if the Championship last season before Preston defeated them 4-0 in the League One play-off final at Wembley, is remaining upbeat despite the injury crisis.

He told FLIC Wiltshire: “It is difficult to get that tempo in training because we are in a catch 22 where we don’t want any more injuries so it is difficult but we can’t keep crying about it – we have to try and get a team on the pitch for Saturday and have a right go at it.”

Millwall faced a similar situation when Southend came to The Den in September missing a number of players. But Phil Brown’s side won 2-0 and Harris, who watched the Robins in action last weekend as they lost 2-1 at home to Peterborough, is wary of the threat Saturday’s opponents will pose.

He said: “Swindon are a good football team. I saw them a few times last year, I’ve seen them this season a couple of times.

“They play total football, they look to retain possession and keep the ball to frustrate the opposition.

“As ever, we need to be patient, but aggressive at the right times. They’ve got some good players, players that can hurt you.

“They’ve brought in some players on loan from some big clubs. They’ve got dangerous players so we have to be careful.”

Harris has injury concerns of his own ahead of the clash, with midfielders Jimmy Abdou and Ed Upson out and winger Paris Cowan-Hall still working his way back towards full fitness.

And the Lions manager will be keeping his fingers crossed his squad can avoid picking up any more knocks during a busy period of fixtures.

Harris said: “We’ve got five games in 15 days and hopefully we’ll have a bit of luck on the injury front, that we stay healthy.

“It’s certainly an opportunity for me to use all the players available to me. It might be an opportunity for some of our youngsters to get minutes.”

The meeting will be the first between the sides since the 2010 League One play-off final when Paul Robinson’s goal sealed Millwall’s place in the Championship.

John Kelly