Millwall manager Gary Rowett has been discussing his spell as a player at Charlton Athletic ahead of the sides’ clash this weekend.
Rowett signed for the Addicks in 2002 after he had left Leicester City but admitted on Thursday that it was a spell that he does not look back on with fondness having suffered serious injury problems with his knee at The Valley which ultimately saw his career cut short.
“I’d been injured before with my knee at Leicester but this time it was similar but different,” Rowett told his pre-match press conference, reported by London News Online.
“It’s probably my biggest frustration, in truth.
“It was frustrating for Charlton fans, because you’ve signed a player you think is going to play and looking from the outside they think that he is just injury prone. But I’d hardly been injured before then.”
Rowett spent two years with Charlton before hanging up his boots in 2004, having made just 13 appearances and scoring one goal.
Since turning to management he has had successful spells with Burton Albion and Birmingham City before struggling at both Derby County and Stoke City – so he will be desperate for a good stint with the Lions.
He took over from Neil Harris after the club legend left his post earlier in the season, making this the first London derby of Rowett’s rein.
Rowett gets a lot of stick but when you consider these aspects of his career, especially having it cut so cruelly short, he has done really well to pick himself back up and get back to where he is today.
And whilst I am sure they will not be his biggest fan tomorrow, there will still be a good level of respect for him from the Charlton faithful.
It will have hurt them as well, afterall, having to see their star retire early after not having the expected impact.