Millwall boss Kenny Jackett has warned his players not to underestimate City’s goal threat this Saturday, despite skipper Grant Holt’s absence through suspension.
If we’re being picky, despite two wins out of two, City have lacked a certain something since Holt’s red card against Brentford resulted in a three-game ban.
With 23-goals to his name, Holt is the talisman of this side, leading by example with his work rate and finishing prowess.
But Jackett’s play-off chasers will be well versed in the talents of Chris Martin and Wes Hoolahan. Cody McDonald’s in fine form as well….
“If you score the amount of goals that he (Grant Holt) has scored this season, and considering the fact he is their captain, it shows what he means to their opposition,” Jackett admitted in the Southwark news.
“But their front three of Martin, Holt and Hoolahan are well-over the 50-goal mark for the season and, even though one of them isn’t playing, we have to keep the other two quiet.”
With City sitting at the summit of League One and the in-form Lions now into that coveted sixth spot after a sluggish start, it has to be the division’s stand-out fixture on Saturday.
If Millwall can secure victory over the Canaries it would constitute their most successful run of league results this season and would further improve the club’s promotion hopes.
And the Lions chief is relishing the challenge. They’re going into the clash in good spirits with the top six now their minimum ambition.
“The side should gain some confidence from recent results and every game is different,” continued the former Watford and Swansea man.
“I’m sure that with the quality we have in our side and the quality of the opposition that this will be a real good game. It’s a big challenge but one that I’m looking forward to.
“It’s a great game to play in – against the top side when we’re sixth in the league ourselves – and a game that we as players, managers and supporters think we can thrive in.”
The weekend encounter also marks a return to south east London for recent City signing Zak Whitbread.
He was a popular figure at the New Den but after advising the club he wouldn’t be renewing his deal in the summer, it was never going to be too long before he got himself fixed up.
But with the US-born Scouser likely to be warming the bench again, Jackett isn’t too concerned about the centre back, who made 119 appearances for the Lions.
“I’m really not interested, to be honest,” he continued, in a typically forthright mood.
“Zak did well for me and for the club last season and I thank him for that. This year he’s moved onto other things, which is his choice, and I’ve got no problem with him on a personal level.
“He’s just another ex-player and I’ve played against many of them in my time in football, so my focus isn’t going to particularly be on him at all.”