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Gary Rowett issues verdict on Ryan Leonard’s return to Millwall action

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Gary Rowett has been delighted to welcome Ryan Leonard back to the Millwall side.

The player has been out of action since November through injury.

His return to action came just in time for the team’s final push to make the play-off places.

The 29-year old returned against Peterborough United last weekend and played a pivotal role in the team’s second half improvement.

His long throw-in led to Benik Afobe’s equaliser that helped the team secure all three points.

That was a vital victory as the Lions are now still within three points of a top six finish as the final day of Championship action takes place this weekend.

Rowett confirmed he will be in contention for selection against their last opponents of the campaign Bournemouth.

The 48-year old believes the defender brings a tactical versatility that should give the team an added dynamic going forward.

“I don’t think he was practising [long throw-ins] when he was out injured,” said Rowett, via News At Den

“Lenny’s always had that capacity to take throw-ins like that. 

“Some teams do it from start to finish, it’s not something we always utilise unless we feel there is a good opportunity to do it. 

“At that point in the game of course it’s just about trying to get that breakthrough.

“I thought Lenny slotted in at right-sided centre-back pretty well and he gives you that flexibility second half to change the formation as well and push a little bit higher.

“He’s been a player that we’ve missed and it was good to get him back, long throw and all.”

Quiz: Which club did Millwall sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?

1 of 24

Malcolm Allen?

Only a win will do for Millwall as they prepare to face the Cherries, who themselves earned automatic promotion on Tuesday evening with a win over Nottingham Forest.

The London club will need a victory and one or both of Luton Town and Sheffield United to fall to defeat in their final games of the season to have any chance at a top six finish.

The Verdict

Given how immediate Leonard’s impact was, it shows how disappointing it was that he missed so much of this season.

It will be difficult for Millwall to earn a play-off place given the amount that needs to fall their way.

But their last season form has been a huge momentum builder and bodes well for the future of the club.

Even if the team can’t break into the top six, this should be seen as a successful campaign for Rowett and his side.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Gary Rowett issues verdict on Ryan Leonard’s return to Millwall action

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