“I shouldn't say this as the Millwall manager, but I'm a big UFC fan.” 

The words of new Millwall manager Gary Rowett, who explained he has been taking inspiration from other sports during his time away from football. 


Before being appointed Lions chief on Monday Rowett had experienced an eight-month period of unemployment where he would regularly work as a pundit for Sky but the former Birmingham manager said he has used the time off to broaden his horizons.


“I just love picking the brains of other sports,” Rowett explained. 


“You study training methods, you study how people work, you study methodology and how people see things. Just in terms of how people master a skill.


You have to master skills and master movements that have to be automatic under pressure, if you're in the octagon then you're one-on-one with someone then you have to know you haven't got time to react. 


“I don't want to get too technical because I'm going to look like an absolute idiot, but it's how they train, the diet, the commitment and the sacrifices that those people make in training camps to be elite.” 


Modern football witnesses managers impose restrictions on a player’s diet in an attempt to enhance their performance levels, but despite seeing it be successful in other sports Rowett expressed he will trust his players. 


“There will be no ketchup ban,” Rowett said when picked up on his diet comment. 


“Someone asked permission for the birthday cakes to come out today and I saw all of the staff salivating and I felt like it was a bit unfair. We are quite relaxed, but there are always things that you feel are important to your methods and I all I spoke to the players about today was just sacrifice


“For me, that's what it's all about. You're in a privileged position, what are we prepared to give or what are we prepared to do to climb the table and get to where we want to be. At times I am going to ask them to do things they don't want, over Christmas periods and where there's games they have to recover.”