July 4, 2022

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Millwall’s selection options set to be boosted again for Luton Town fixture

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Millwall look set to have Oliver Burke and Ryan Leonard available for Saturday’s crunch Championship fixture at Luton Town.

Lions manager Gary Rowett had mentioned previously that his squad options were set to be majorly boosted after the international break.

And the gap in action has also allowed the South Londoners to get more fitness work into the likes of Maikel Kieftenbeld, Sheyi Ojo and Tom Bradshaw.

“We had a decent amount of training time with the lads who had been injured,” Rowett told the South London Press. “We did a little bit of 11-v-11 last week on the few days we were in and got a little bit into the ones who needed it and going a little bit lighter training with the ones who had been in the team and played.

“I’m talking about the likes of Burkey, Lenny, Bradders and Maikel – Evo [George Evans] trained today.

“We certainly look to have a lot more space in our treatment room, shall we say. So the lads are back and available with varying degrees of training fitness and match fitness.

Benik Afobe attempts an overhead kick in training Picture: Brian Tonks

“It’s good to get the work in and that will continue this week hopefully towards the weekend and having a few selection issues, which will actually be quite nice.

“It’s easier to have that extra two weeks of training rather than rush them back for four or five games in the space of two weeks, that’s what we’ve done. The group is looking a lot healthier although we’ve got a few on international duty so it all balances itself out. I’m sure by Thursday the group is going to look pretty strong.

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“It’s obviously not going to guarantee results but it does guarantee us the ability to make some changes and the ability to switch things around a little bit within games. The challenge will be those players getting that little bit of match fitness, unless you just chuck them into games. At the moment we want to be performing to win games, rather than give people minutes to get them sharp.

“It’s going to be a bit of a blend in games.”

The only two players unavailable are Mason Bennett and Luke Freeman.

“If either of those come back before the end of the season it will be a bonus,” said Rowett. “When you saw the list previously there were about 10 players on there [injured]. It’s a far better, positive situation.

“I think they could both be back available but the challenge will be how much fitness will they have? We’ll assess that as we go along. I’ve almost ruled them two out for the season – but it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be back.

“We’re at such a stage where if you’ve got two games to go, unless you need to then you don’t want to be chucking players in who haven’t played for quite a long time. With eight or nine games you can build that in. It just makes it more ambitious to get them back involved when you’ve hopefully got a relatively fully-fit squad.”

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