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Preview: Barnet vs. Millwall

MILLWALL touched down in London on Wednesday after six days in the Algarve sunshine, and are back at Calmont Road preparing for the trip to Barnet on Saturday.

The squad was put through its paces in heat touching 40 degrees Celsius in Portugal, in between facing Lincoln City and a Portuguese side in friendlies.

Lions supporters who travel to The Hive Stadium this weekend could get to see another new signing in action for the club for the first time, with Conor McLaughlin in line to make an appearance.

Millwall boss Neil Harris will likely pick a strong side for the clash against the Bees. McLaughlin’s Northern Ireland international team-mate Shane Ferguson should also make his first appearance of the summer, after he started pre-season late following his involvement in World Cup qualification in early June.

Lions CEO Steve Kavanagh joined Neil Harris and the squad for a couple of days during their training camp, and believes the trip was a success.

“The camaraderie was good and they were working hard. It was very hot out there, which made it difficult for them,” Kavanagh said.

“It’s a great set-up, they went there last year and wanted to go back. They were away from everything and completely focused on training.”

Barnet, meanwhile, finished 15th in League Two last season and their manager, Rossi Eames, who is just 32, is an ex-gymnast and started off as a video analyst with the club’s under-13s.

One of Eames’ players, Michael Nelson, is five years older than him, but age isn’t a worry as he sets out his ambitious plans for the club.

“Everyone keeps saying to me that I am the youngest Football League coach but to me it is just a number,” he said. “I am a very privileged person to be one of the 92 and I know there are millions of people in this country who would love to be in my seat.

“But I have not really thought about the age thing, it's just about me doing my job as well as possible.

“I know that we are on the right track and we are in a good place. We have a great philosophy from the under-9s upwards and we have the ambitions to match. I am embedding the principles, the culture of high standards and ensuring every detail is followed.

“The young players are stepping up and you will see more emerge this season.

“What I will say is that these players are hungrier than ever. We know the ambitions and where we can go. We will build on what we have done already and we will be working harder than ever.”

The sides have met competitively three times in their history, Millwall's only win coming in the first round of the League Cup last August when Fred Onyedinma (above) rounded off a 4-0 win when he scored from the penalty spot.

Possible Millwall starting XI: Archer; McLaughlin, Webster, Hutchinson, Meredith; Wallace, Williams, Saville, Ferguson; Elliott, Gregory.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)