Berylson reveals why Millwall didn't spend in January

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

JOHN Berylson admitted Millwall considered spending to add their squad during the January transfer window, but decided against it as they didn’t want to risk hindering the development of young players like Ben Thompson.

While promotion rivals such as Wigan signed Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough, Neil Harris brought in only Jed Wallace on loan.

Millwall chairman Berylson, speaking exclusively to NewsAtDen, said the club have taken on the lessons of previous years when mid-season signings didn’t have the desired effect on results.

Thompson, as well Sid Nelson and Mahlon Romeo, has figured prominently for Millwall recently as they remain in the promotion race with just 10 league fixtures left in the season.

Berylson also explained that the balance of the dressing room is an important consideration in assessing whether to add new recruits to the squad.

“We thought about it and looked at it but Neil’s concern is stacking up older players in front of the younger players,” Berylson said. “He wants the young players to know they have a chance.

“Take a look at our squad, who do you want to push back a spot? Do you want to push Ben Thompson back? Have you seen how well he’s been playing? Given the chance they come through and I’ve made the mistake where I’ve put in players in front of other players and they just didn’t get there.

“We have Tony Craig coming back, Sid Nelson is right behind Byron Webster. If Sid has to play we’re not afraid of that, he’s done really well for a young lad. Bringing in players in January, we did it last year when we brought in nine, ten players, and how did that work out?

“Wigan brought in people like Morsy but we played great against them recently. We completely controlled that game and had an enormous amount of chances. So I’m okay with not strengthening in January. There were other years we’ve done it and it didn’t really work out to our advantage particularly well.

“The only way I would’ve done something in January would have been to cover injury. I don’t want a second-rater in any position, and if it’s a first-rater he’s going to want to play. But I have Lee Gregory and Steve Morison, and if I have three of these strikers for two positions, then someone’s not going to be happy.

“Steve and Lee might be the most fearsome duo in the league. Right now the chemistry in the dressing room is fantastic.”

*This is an excerpt from a longer interview with John Berylson which you can read in Southwark News this Thursday, March 17.

John Kelly