Millwall boss gives view on 34,000 Den expansion plan – urges Lions to 'prove it' on the pitch

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett has reacted to images of the proposed redevelopment of The Den – saying it's "exciting times to be part of the club".

The Lions have proposals for an expansion of the stadium up to a capacity of 34,000. In a statement last week, Millwall said they want The Den to have "facilities that are ultimately fit for Premier League football".

There are also proposals for a public plaza and the club aim to build non-football revenues including from events and conferencing.

Rowett has been in charge for just 20 games, but has transformed Millwall into a side that are in the race for the Championship play-off places.

"It's like any club that's had the same stadium for a long time and the same training ground for a long time, you always look for ways you can improve it," Rowett said.

"Obviously a big part of the plan for the club along with winning the planning battle was to develop not just the stadium but the areas around it.

"I've just seen the images, I've not been party to any of the discussions. But it's an exciting time to be part of the club. It's a fantastically located club for attracting that type of improvement and ambition.

"For me we've got to prove it on the pitch. Over 20 games we've done okay. If I'm sat here after 100 games or after 200 games saying we've managed to do that consistently then I'll be happy."

Critical to Millwall challenging for a place in the top tier is holding on to their best players.

"I don't really worry about it too much," Rowett insisted. "I've said it previously if we do well then people will like the players because they're performing well. That's the aim of the manager, and when we're winning games it attracts people to it.

"Certainly John [Berylson, club owner] has said to me we don't need to sell any player. That's the beauty of Millwall. If we get a bid for a player and he desperately wants to leave then you've got to factor that into what's the right thing to do for the club to move on.

"But at the moment the players enjoy being here. What we've tried to do is reward players when they've done well, and the club's done that really well. We can't reach the finances of other clubs but can certainly push hard in terms of what we feel is a fair and reflective improvement on a contract.

"You've seen that recently with the likes of Hutch [Shaun Hutchinson], last summer with the likes of Jed [Wallace]. We'll continue to try and do that and the rest is something that's not really worth considering at the present time."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly