Wallace and Cooper give Millwall key depth

wallace 2Millwall have benefited from tactical consistency in recent weeks and a settled side has helped their current five game unbeaten run. With 14 games in the next eight weeks however, it will be difficult for Neil Harris to stick with the same side. The 39-year-old has rightly added to his squad with two new loanees.

Earlier in the season, when Byron Webster was injured and fellow centre-back Shaun Hutchinson was unavailable for a spell, the Lions struggled in that area. 31-year-old Tony Craig had been caught out for a lack of pace while youngster Sid Nelson, who had some good games at the end of the 14/15 relegation season, has not lived up to his early hype.

An upgrade on the latter two may be Jake Cooper. The Reading loanee can be dominant in the air and capable of getting goals from set pieces. The other addition is a familiar face in Jed Wallace, who impressed in his loan spell last season.

As this blog suspected might be the case, the creative midfielder could not make an impact when he was recalled by parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers due to the rigid system under Kenny Jackett. It is unsurprising that Paul Lambert, a manager with a similar ideology, does not see him part of his plans.

At League One level however, Wallace is a class above most players. He adds creativity, control and versatility to a thin Millwall squad. In the last two games, they have been drawing in the second half and Harris has put the likes of David Worrall and Shane Ferguson. It is difficult to imagine an opposing team being too worried about those players changing a game, whereas a player like Wallace would strike fear into the opposition and give Millwall some impetus.

Alternatively, Harris could start Wallace and then he would have to drop a quality attacking player such as Fred Onyedinma or Aiden O’Brien onto the bench. Onyedinma offers pace, power and skill while O’Brien made a huge difference as a substitute in the win at Bury.

That extra depth could make a huge difference in Millwall’s bid for a play-off spot and this blog backs them to get there.