June 14, 2024

Gary Rowett has talked about his desire for Millwall to have flexibility to their shape next season – and admits some of that comes down to the transfer targets the club can land in the summer.

The Lions back has played with both wing-backs as part of a back five and also switched to a flat back four, enjoying success with both.

And Rowett wants to be able to mix it up as Millwall aim to be once again pushing for the Championship top six in the 2023-24 campaign.

“You have to be flexible,” he told the South London Press. “We changed to a four last season but if you looked by the end of it then you’d probably see similar stats, in many ways, to the previous season (when Millwall played a three-man central defence). I don’t think there is necessarily one route that fits all.

“We’re a team that are quite good when we’re quite flexible, you saw that when we went up to Blackpool and played a different way in a different type of game.

“There are quite a lot of players in our group who suit a 5-2-3, a 5-2-1-2 or whatever you want to call it. A 5-2-1-2 you can get two strikers on the pitch and a number 10, so there are options to add those sort of positions.

“Ultimately it’s about improving the team and having the ability to play in different ways. Luton and Coventry, in the play-off final, both played a back five. Sheffield United, one of two teams who went up automatically, played a back five. I’ve spoken about it before, it’s not necessarily the formation – it is how you play the formation.

“There is always that question – can we get more forwards on the pitch? Can we get more goals on the pitch? When you’re recruiting you have to have half an eye on those and be fairly flexible.

“It’s something we’ll look at in the summer. It depends on the option of players you have to sign. Sometimes that can shape the way you’re thinking as well.

“It’s something I’ve done all through my career, sometimes you need a little switch up in games to refresh. It’s something I’ll give good thought over the summer to but I won’t be too rigid. The key is to have the ability to change, sometimes within games as well.”


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