League One preview: Southend vs. Millwall

MILLWALL striker Lee Gregory has trained this week and could be in line for a return at Southend this Saturday after a five-game absence through injury.

Aiden O’Brien and Steve Morison have scored four goals between them in that time but Gregory’s poaching instincts were missed in successive home draws against Bradford and Coventry.

Shane Ferguson was ill the night before the 1-1 draw with the Sky Blues, but he should be in contention for a starting spot at Roots Hall.

Shaun Cummings played 45 minutes for the Millwall U23s in their 2-2 draw with Birmingham on Monday and will feature again against Nottingham Forest next Monday, but he is still three weeks away from a first-team return.

Harris isn’t putting a timescale on the return of Shaun Hutchinson, who has been taking part in light sessions after a hamstring problem.

Southend have experienced a dismal start to the season on and off the pitch.

They have won just one of seven league games, and last week attracted national headlines when Ryan Inniss, whom they signed on loan from Crystal Palace in August, was sent to prison for 14 weeks for assault.

The 21-year-old defender missed the 4-0 rout at Scunthorpe last weekend, but he was released from jail on Monday following an appeal.

However, Brown doesn’t know if Inniss will feature against the Lions.

He told the Echo: “At this moment in time it’s not been decided if he can be in the squad and play this weekend against Millwall.

“But we’ve got to the bottom of everything which has gone on and we’re hopeful we can put this behind us and move forward.”

Former Hull boss Brown also raised eyebrows during the summer with the signing of Nile Ranger, who hadn’t played competitively since November 2014 when he walked out on Blackpool.

Ranger has made just one appearance this season for Southend, who also have the joint-worst defence in League One having conceded 13 goals.

Meanwhile, Brown is focussing his side on stopping a player who was in his team at Wembley when they defeated Wycombe on penalties in the 2015 League Two play-off final.

“There's no bad blood with David Worrall,” Brown said after the winger left Southend to join Millwall in June. “But we will have to try and keep him quiet because he's a match-winner.”

Worrall also spoke to the Echo this week and said he is pleased with how his Millwall career has gone so far. “I wanted to make a good start to get the fans on side and I’ve done that.

“I’ve been told Millwall are normally slow starters so it’s been a good start, especially as we haven’t really hit top form just yet.

“We’ll be looking to do that at Southend and I can’t wait because this game and the one at Bury were the first ones I looked for.”

Millwall record against Southend:

Played 85

Won 37  Drawn 22  Lost 26

Form guide:

Millwall: LWWDD

Southend: LDWLL

Probable Millwall team:

Millwall: 4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Webster, Craig, Martin; Worrall, Thompson, Williams, O’Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Match odds:

Southend 3/1  Draw 5/2  Millwall 4/5

John Kelly