Millwall boss drops hint about defensive reinforcements in next window to re-balance squad

GARY Rowett won't divulge which positions will be targeted for strengthening in next summer's transfer window – but hinted the club will seek more depth in defensive areas.

Rowett feels the squad is top-heavy with attacking players. In a 5-2-3 formation the Lions' squad currently contains only six players with senior league experience who can fill the defensive positions, seven if James Brown is included.

But there are nine players for the front three positions in that set-up, including Shane Ferguson as an attacking option as well as a defensive one.

Murray Wallace and Mahlon Romeo have played 33 and 34 out of Millwall's 35 games this season, respectively. Asked if the wing-back positions would be priorities for more depth in the summer, Rowett said: "I don't want to go into what position we might want to improve. What you're looking for is a balance."

Rowett added: "There have been games when Muzza's [Wallace] defended fantastically well. I think back on the Reading game when he was up against [Yakou] Meite, he played him as well as anyone I've seen. There have also been games when he's been very good going forward.

"Sometimes what you get, with all of our players, is a little bit of inconsistency, and when players are inconsistent then sometimes you see what players can't do and people focus on that.

"After the Bristol game [this Saturday] we'll have played half a season. It's not like a ten-game spell or the first five games, it's half a season of football in the Championship and at the minute we'd be on for top-five, top-six form.

"A lot of what we've been doing has been quite good. We started from a lower position in the league which means we're in a situation where we can't afford to drop points now.

"When you look at a window, it's about whether you can just tweak some of those positions, whether we can add a little bit of competition.

"For example, at the moment if we lose a centre-back again we have to change formation. You want that balance within the squad to be able to play different ways in different games.

"The squad's probably heavily weighted in terms of those forward areas, and less weighted in terms of that back five if that's what we play.

"It's something definitely down the line where we have to look at the balance of the squad and make sure that we have that flexibility within there to be able to change systems.

"But, of course, the squad was built to play a different system, I understand that. It's about us putting our stamp on it as we go along."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly