FOR the second time in four games Millwall will face a side without a permanent manager, after Ipswich Town sacked Paul Hurst on Thursday.
Bryan Klug – who has been caretaker on three separate occasions – is set to be in charge of the Tractor Boys at The Den on Saturday.
The 58-year-old, who had a modest playing career with clubs such as Wimbledon, Chesterfield and Peterborough, will not get the job on a permanent basis following the departure of Hurst, who left Shrewsbury after their defeat to Rotherham in last season’s League One play-off final to take over from Mick McCarthy – with an interim four-game spell for Klug in between – but saw his side win just one out of 14 games in the league this season.
Klug, who now has a daunting task in south London to try to rally the bottom side, was on pre-match press conference duties this morning, with ex-Norwich and Stoke boss Paul Lambert expected to be appointed Hurst's successor.
“It’s a completely different circumstance from last time and it’s not pleasant at all. We know the importance of getting points on the board,” he said.
“It could’ve been very different with a bit of luck here and there, but that’s football. Ultimately, Paul has paid the price for that.
“Any time you come into a club in the situation we’re in, it’ll be a big job. A new manager will have 10 games before he can make any changes to the squad but we’ve got some good players and this is a great football club.
“This isn’t a club that would make this decision lightly, so yesterday was a shock. Everything that could have gone wrong, seemed to go wrong for Paul. He didn’t get the luck you need as a manager.
“Paul and I had a good relationship. I’m very sad that he’s lost his job.
“You have to have belief that if you do the right things, performances will lead to results. The ball can be a bit like a hot potato when you’re bottom of the league.”
Klug also gave an injury update: “Cole Skuse has a sore ankle but were expecting him to be okay. Other than that we have no new injuries.”
It’s altogether a different story at Millwall, who have the longest-serving manager in the Championship in Neil Harris.
The Lions, after a difficult start to the campaign, go into the game in much more positive form after two wins in their last three fixtures and one defeat in four.
Harris should have all 22 first-team players available, and could name the same side for the fourth successive game.
Possible Millwall starting XI:
4-4-2: Amos; Romeo, M Wallace, Cooper, Meredith; J Wallace, Leonard, Williams, Ferguson; Gregory, Morison.
Millwall 8/15 Draw 3/1 Ipswich 9/2
Millwall 3-4 Ipswich (Wallace 1', O'Brien 36', Elliott 80'); (Garner 4', Waghorn 34', 45'+3, Spence 88'); Ipswich 2-2 Millwall (Waghorn 52', 54'; Cooper 27', Saville 60').
Image: Millwall FC