MILLWALL boss Neil Harris has warned his side the fact that Coventry are virtually out of the play-off race could make them dangerous opposition this weekend.
The Lions lost 4-0 to the Sky Blues in August, but Millwall’s form of just two defeats in their last 17 matches makes them favourites for a top-six finish.
Coventry were 13 points ahead of Millwall as recently as January 2, but they have won just once at the Ricoh Arena this year.
However, Harris is guarding against any complacency from his players on Saturday.
“We’ve come a long way, they were a long way in front of us at Christmas,” Harris said. “We’ve gained a lot of momentum and points on a good side, but they haven’t become a bad team, they still have some excellent players.
“They’re a big club with a big fanbase, so it’ll be a great test for us. They’ll be able to play with a bit of freedom, and flair and excitement, so it’s up to us to play as well as we have done in recent months and impose our attacking play.
“We haven’t set any goals or targets this season other than to get better as we move along and to improve the squad and the club.
“We try to adjust and improve in small steps and I think we've done that as a group. But that doesn’t stop, we have to keep doing it.”
Harris could welcome club captain Tony Craig back into his squad this weekend after five-and-a-half months out with a knee injury.
Shaun Cummings is currently the only first-team regular out as Millwall look to win for the first time away from home since their 1-0 victory at Rochdale on February 13.
Coventry, meanwhile, have won just two of their last 16 matches to drop to 13th in the League One table, 11 points off sixth-placed Gillingham with just five fixtures left.
Manager Tony Mowbray admitted the start of the season, when they won their first three matches including a 4-0 win at The Den, feels like “good days” that “seem a long way at the moment”.
But Mowbray wants his side to show some fight against the Lions.
“It’s a pretty young side but we have got some experience in there as well and it’s trying to explain to them that they have to keep digging in deeper than they think they can go,” Mowbray told Coventry Telegraph. “So we’re looking at one of those performances against a Millwall team on the front foot.
“Hopefully we’ll give them a game and they’ll know they’ve been in a game. We’ll try to put a team on the pitch to ask them questions.”
“We have talked long and hard about where our team is. I watched the Millwall game back and it’s a changed team now for us.”
“They were a relegated team, had a big budget. It was going into the unknown and yet we found a performance that, not set the season up because we’d done that against Wigan, but (with) young players who looked very vibrant. Good days but they seem a long way at the moment.”
Coventry could have striker Darius Henderson back to face his former club, but defender Chris Stokes is out. Midfielder James Maddison didn’t feature in the 1-0 defeat to Wigan last weekend due to loan rules, but he could also be recalled.
Millwall record against Coventry:
Won 29 Drawn 13 Lost 28
Form guide (Last five league):
Sky Bet odds:
Coventry 19/10 Draw 23/10 Millwall 13/10
Probable Millwall team:
4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Webster, Beevers, Ferguson; Taylor, Thompson, Williams, O’Brien; Morison, Gregory.
League One, August 15, 2015
Armstrong 6, 24 Lameiras 19 O'Brien 80
Millwall: Forde; Cummings, Webster, Craig, Beevers (Ferguson, 45); Onyedinma, Upson (Cowan-Hall, 77), Williams, L Martin (Thompson, 45); Gregory, Morison.
Coventry: Burge; Willis, Ricketts, Johnson, Stokes; O'Brien, Vincelot, Fleck, Lameiras (Tudgay, 72), Maddison (Murphy, 63); Armstrong (Thomas, 83).