Millwall boss on Mason Bennett's starting chances against Birmingham – plus latest on Ryan Leonard

MASON Bennett is in contention for a first start for Millwall after his impressive cameo at Wigan on Saturday.

The Lions only really started to look a consistent attacking threat in the 1-0 defeat at the DW Stadium after Bennett's introduction in the 64th minute.

It was Bennett's first senior competitive action since last November ahead of the clash against Birmingham at The Den this Wednesday.

"When Mason Bennett came on I felt he gave us a little bit of intent attacking-wise," Rowett said. "Before then I felt we played a little bit tepid in those forward areas.

"I still think his fitness will be an issue for the whole game, you have to think he hasn't played much or any football at all in the last two or three months. [Saturday] was his first taste of that.

"You saw in glimpses his pace and power to open the game up. You also saw his rustiness in terms of that last finish. What I was pleased about was when he came on he was trying desperately to get us back in the game.

"I think that was the disappointment for me, because we had that opportunity from the start. We didn't beat people one-v-one, we didn't take defenders on, we didn't really try and make things happen.

"There's an opportunity for him to start on Wednesday, but whether he does or not will depend on if we think he's fit enough to have that impact from the start."

Meanwhile, Ryan Leonard wasn't in the squad at Wigan.

Rowett explained: "Lenny had a tight hamstring. He's done well to get back and I felt he'd be a risk.

"He didn't feel he'd be fully fit if he had to come on after 20 or 30 minutes, so we decided to leave him out as a precaution."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly