MILLWALL’S postponed fixture with Charlton was a blessing in disguise – as the Lions would have been missing three more key players for the south London derby.
Neil Harris was already without Shane Ferguson and Mahlon Romeo, who were on international duty, and injured trio Aiden O’Brien, Shaun Cummings and Shaun Hutchinson for the game that was originally scheduled for last Saturday.
But the Millwall boss revealed that Steve Morison, Byron Webster and Joe Martin failed to train at the end of last week, meaning Harris would have been down to the bare bones against their bitter rivals as they tried to arrest a run of four successive league defeats.
Millwall had wanted the fixture to go ahead, but Charlton decided to call it off as three of their players were on international duty and the game will now be played in December.
Harris and his squad travel to Northampton on Saturday, and he will have a fuller hand to play with for the crunch clash.
“I’d love to have played the Charlton game,” Harris said. “Especially on the back of the Gillingham victory it would have been great to play.
“But we would have been missing players. Byron Webster wouldn’t have played, Steve Morison would have struggled, Joe Martin wouldn’t have played. They didn’t train at the end of the week. Could Steve and Joe been left out for Gillingham? Yeah, probably, but I thought we needed some impetus and momentum, and those two individuals certainly gave it to us.
“We would have been light against Charlton but it’s given us a chance for them to get back to fitness and train this week.”
Millwall go into Saturday’s game in 19th place in the table, but only four teams have scored more than them in League One.
Only Gillingham and Southend have a worse defensive record, but Harris said the focus is on the collective as they aim to rediscover the form that made them one of the most difficult teams to score against in the second half of last season.
“As always with this group there is a real spirit amongst them to say ‘it’s not us at one end and you at the other, it’s everyone in it together’.
“So everyone’s working hard to help each other improve.”
Image source: ©Millwall FC