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The boss looks ahead to season opener

Gary Rowett previews QPR test...

6 August 2021

Gary Rowett has labelled Millwall's pre-season as "a good month" - but now cannot wait for Saturday's 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship opener at Queens Park Rangers.

The Lions will be backed by 2,500 fans at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (kick-off 3pm) as fans return to League football, without restrictions, for the first time since March 2020 - and the boss told of his pleasure at the build-up towards the weekend's big kick-off.

"It's been a good month," he said. "I don't think you can read too much into it apart from fitness and a little bit of tactical work.

"We've had some good opponents in Arsenal, Watford and other Premier League sides like Fulham, plus Bromley, Ipswich in front of crowds - there's been some really good tests and a lot of the players have got minutes in."

With competition for places rife in all areas of the squad, the manager claims to have a starting XI in mind for the trip to West London, but also challenges his entire squad to remain "at their maximum" ahead of the long and arduous campaign.

"I might have a starting XI in mind for QPR, but that XI has the ability to change every week. It's a long season and we've got a very strong squad this year. There will be times for players to step in and play their part and times when people have to go out or come off the bench.

"We need that squad mentality and we need everyone at their maximum, ready to perform. I can honestly say, at this moment, that there is around 20 players I could pick on merit from pre-season.

"We've got a good week to look forward to, but it's only going to be a good week if we can get off to a good start."

Click play on the video above to hear in full from Gary Rowett.

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