Lee Bowyer on Millwall and what derbies mean

Speaking to the assembled ahead of Saturday's short trip to The Den to take on local rivals Millwall, Lee Bowyer spoke about the opponents, what derbies mean and provides an injury update.

Lee Bowyer's full post match press conference is available on Valley Pass.

Below are some of the talking points...

On Millwall…

"The first goal is going to be massive. It’s going to be intimidating, but we can turn the atmosphere into a positive. 

"So even though we're playing away like we did last season at Portsmouth, it was intimidating there with the atmosphere that the Portsmouth fans make, but we know that our fans will be singing.

"Millwall are probably going to be doing a bit more than singing, knowing them! But if we can take control of the ball and look a threat then things can easily turn."

On what the game means to the players…

"They mean everything. Winning is important but these types of games – the local derbies – they were a big part of why you played with the atmosphere and the occasion. And, since I’ve been in charge, in these sorts of games we’ve stood up and matched our opposition.

"I think it’s a good time for this game to come around.

"I’ve played in this; I know what it’s like… Obviously the most important thing is the three points. We want to give our fans a good journey home and to have them bragging rights. The fans have been great for us, travelling up and down the country so hopefully on Saturday we can repay them for all their efforts."

On the winless run against Milwall… 

"Maybe I’m a good omen because we played them twice that season [1995/96] and beat them twice. So, hopefully, I’m that good omen. I’ve been away from the club since and now I’m back, hopefully we can get the same result again and then maybe our fans can walk around with the bragging rights for 20-odd years."

On injuries… 

"Adam Matthews has joined in training this week. Apart from that, that’s it. Chuks Aneke is struggling. He played for the U23s the other day, trying to get his fitness up and get his minutes up. He had to come off at half time because he was a little bit stiff. So, we’re evaluating him but it’s not looking good. So, it looks like we’ve lost one gained one.

"After this, we’ve got an international break and a couple of weeks to try and get some people back and I’m expecting a good couple to come back. But the most important thing is the preparation for the game at the weekend. 

"[Lyle Taylor] has just had another injection the other day. So now it’s just a case of letting that settle down and building him up over the next couple of weeks. I was just speaking to the physio; we’ll be looking to have him training with us in the lead up to the Millwall game. The target was Preston and that didn’t happen. So, we’ve just got to be careful. If you try to rush him back too soon then he could break down and be out for another six weeks and you don’t want that."

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