Millwall manager Gary Rowett expects to face a more settled Leeds United this weekend following the end of the transfer window earlier this month.
The Yorkshire side faced a turbulent few months following their relegation to the Championship last season, with many players unwilling to drop down a division. Although there were few permanent exits – Tyler Adams and Rodrigo the most prominent – there were several to depart on a temporary basis, most notably Luis Sinisterra, Jack Harrison, Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca and Rasmus Kristensen. The future of several others also remained in doubt, with Wily Gnonto even reportedly going on strike at one point in order to force a move.
Daniel Farke’s side were linked with an array of players throughout the window as they immediately set their sights on a return to the Premier League, although had to wait until the final weeks of the window to secure their top signings, such as Joel Piroe, Glen Kamara and Djed Spence.
The uncertainty saw Leeds struggle with life in the Championship and they have won just one of their opening five fixtures. However, with the transfer window now closed, Farke can now hope for a more settled squad, a view shared by Sunday’s opposition manager Gary Rowett.
Millwall host the Whites in a lunchtime kick off, but Rowett is expecting a much sterner Leeds side than that witnessed before the international break. Speaking to the South London Press this afternoon, the 49-year-old said;
“At that type of club there is a lot of speculation and a lot of talk about different players and where they might be going and playing. There is always that little bit of uncertainty. You need the window to close to settle down – it’s very, very important.
“They have got very good players and a good manager in Daniel (Farke), I really like him and think he’s done a really good job, certainly at Norwich. I think he’ll do a really good job there.
“It will take a little bit of time for it to settle down for them but every game from now on in is that game where you want to see that more settled performance if you’re Leeds manager.
“It will be a tough game – but a tough game for them coming to The Den, also.”
“It’s not easy as a manager – because what you see is not always what is going on behind the scenes. It is unsettling and hard to get an organised team, very quickly, that is all motivated to do well. I’m sure the window shutting will give Daniel that opportunity now.”
Millwall currently sit in 12th position, one point above Leeds, who currently occupy 15th.
Gary Rowett is correct in his assessment of Leeds United, in that Daniel Farke can now plan properly for the months ahead. It was tough for the manager to focus on his best squad prior to the closing of the window because he was unsure who he would still have at his disposal come September 1st. Additionally, a number of players were still being targeted in order to bolster their squad.
Leeds will indeed be more settled heading into this fixture and Rowett is clearly wary of that fact. This is set to be a hard-fought, fiery fixture.