MILLWALL boss Neil Harris has offered encouragement to those who didn’t feature last weekend against Preston by saying he will need to use his full squad this month.
The Lions play six more games in 22 days this month, including the first round of the League Cup against West Brom next week.
Millwall are without Frank Fielding and signed Luke Steele on loan from Nottingham Forest on Thursday.
“I said to the players this week I’ve never been involved in a dressing room where the manager has picked a team – whether it’s my decision to pick a team or when I was a player – in the first league game and then picked the same team at the start of September. It just doesn’t unfold like that.
“Every player that has been involved in pre-season needs to keep pushing. Everybody come the end of the second West Brom game will be up to match fitness.
“If we’re going to be a side this year that competes we’re going to have to be the same as we were for parts last year but certainly the season before that and two seasons before that in League One: really hard to beat, hardworking and then when we do have the ball use it well.
“We have to know when to use the ball and when to go more direct. At times it was good at the weekend but then it was a game that watching it back lacked a little bit of quality in the final third, but there was a real tempo to it. There was a lot of aggressive and competitive play and that’s when we’re at our best.
“There will be changes, we’ve got West Brom twice in four days. There will be an opportunity for every player in the squad.”
Harris will pit his wits against former Wet Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who was appointed in the summer as the permanent successor to Darren Moore.
The Baggies won 2-1 at Nottingham Forest on the opening day. Bilic’s biggest signing so far this summer is Romaine Sawyers from Brentford.
Harris added: “He’s got great experience, Slaven, played in the Premier League and internationally. He’s got a really good group of players that were very close last year to Premier League football.
“He’s added some more players and reading his quotes from after the game Saturday wants to add even more.
“They’re a real threat for us to deal with, a real attacking force. But we showed against West Brom last year we can compete.
“We take the positives from the game Saturday and how defensively sound we were. I noticed a lot of people from Preston bemoaning their poor play but I thought they played alright. They just couldn’t break us down.
Possible Millwall team: 4-4-1-1: Bialkowski; Romeo, Pearce, Cooper, M Wallace; J Wallace, Leonard, Williams, Mahoney; Thompson; Smith.
Match odds: West Brom 4/6 Draw 13/5 Millwall 7/2
Image: Millwall FC