Millwall boss Gary Rowett explains how missing three key players impacted his side’s performance against Stoke City and reveals when fans can expect to see them return.

The Lions were without Spurs loanee Troy Parrott and ever-present wing back Mahlon Romeo, both ruled out through injury. Ryan Woods was also missing, unable to play against his parent club.

A lot is expected of Parrott this season, who joined the Lions with a stellar underage record and plenty of promise, but the Irishman picked up a knock towards the end of preseason that ruled him out of contention.

Rowett believes that Parrott ‘could sometimes be the difference in those types of games’, adding creativity and attacking threat that Millwall lacked at the Den on Saturday.

Ryan Woods, a favourite of Rowett since joining last January, was also a big miss. The Millwall boss believes he gives Millwall something they don’t have otherwise.

He said, ‘We’re missing Ryan Woods who would have made a huge difference today, I think he’s a top, top midfielder that gets us playing.

‘We missed Mahlon [Romeo]. Lenny [Ryan Leonard] filled in and did really well, but we missed Mahlon’s attacking qualities a little as well.

‘Every side will say the same, but we’re missing some key players today.’

Up next for the Lions is their Carabao Cup second round tie against League Two Cheltenham Town on Tuesday, which might be too soon for Parrott as he continues his recovery.

‘I don’t think Troy will play Tuesday’, admitted Rowett, ‘Mahlon will have a chance, Woodsy will obviously be available to play.

‘It will be an opportunity for some of the players that couldn’t play [Saturday] or weren’t picked.

‘I’m looking for a much more energetic, more composed performance in the cup.’

Millwall fans will be eager to see Parrott in competitive actions, having got glimpsed from preseason social media clips. It would appear, they will have to wait a little longer.