Millwall must manage through 'crazy schedule'

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris said he has to “use the players wisely” during a “crazy schedule” of three games in six days in three competitions.

Harris made three changes to the side that defeated Bury in their last league game as Millwall beat Braintree 5-2 in the second round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Millwall face Wycombe in the last 32 of the EFL Trophy on Wednesday, when players like Paul Rooney, Kyron Farrell and Sid Nelson could be given another chance to impress.

Harris has to manage his squad – already stretched with injuries to Steve Morison, Shaun Hutchinson and Lee Gregory recently – through a run of six more fixtures this month.

Gregory returned against The Iron and provided two assists as Harry Smith’s hat-trick and goals from Shane Ferguson and substitute Aiden O’Brien sent Millwall through to tonight’s third-round draw.

“We’re not looking too far ahead,” Harris said. “The thing we spoke about all week was three games in six days, which is a crazy schedule at this stage of the season.

“We have a small senior squad with a lot of good youngsters and it’s important that I get the balance between picking sides to win games. The focus is on a six-day period and to win the first game is a real positive. We have to carry that on to Wednesday.”

Nelson played his first game for Millwall since October 4 and was replaced with Tony Craig in the second half.

“The plan was to take him off after 60 minutes,” Harris said. “Sid played 60 minutes for the U23s last week, he’s been out for five weeks.

“At times he looked a little bit rusty but at other times he showed his battling qualities. I’m delighted he got through the 60 minutes unscathed.

“I picked a team to win the game and we did that. I’ve got probably 18 senior players available to me during this period so I’ve got to make sure I use the players wisely. We’ve got to make sure people are fresh when they come in.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly