KENNY Jackett is backing Hameur Bouazza to be a hit at The Den after the midfielder penned a two-year deal earlier this week.

Bouazza, who initially arrived on loan earlier in the campaign, recently returned from a knee injury and is set to play up front against Preston on Saturday’s because of Millwall’s striker shortage.

Jackett said: “We’re hoping Bouazza has a long and successful Millwall career.

“He’s done well here on loan but it’s taken him a bit of time to get over a long-standing knee injury.

“We knew about that when we took him and we nursed him through but he is over that now, he’s a talented player and we are pleased to add him to our squad.”

Bouazza could well be the man to fire Millwall to victory over Preston in Saturday’s televised clash after Neil Harris was sent off in last week’s 2-1 defeat at Coventry.

That, together with Steve Morison’s red card in the previous game with Bristol City, leaves the Lions desperately short of firepower but Jackett has challenged the likes of Bouazza and the club’s youngsters to seize their opportunity against Phil Brown’s side.

Jackett even hinted last year’s schoolboy player of the year Aiden O’Brien could feature this weekend.

He said: “We have all of our senior forwards all out at the moment.

“What that does, however, is bring young players through and gives them opportunities.

“There’s no point having young players at the club if, when the opportunity arises, they don’t get the chance.

“We’ve got players like Josh McQoid, John Marquis, Aiden O’Brien and Hameur Bouazza, so the opportunity is there for them.

“They are the sort of combinations that are going to have to go up front and I am looking forward to it.”

Despite the defeat at Coventry, Jackett also believes his side did quite well even though Harris’ early exit left them up against it.

He added: “The performance with 10-men was very good.

“To some extent we really did step up in that second half and I could feel it coming at the end of the first half to be honest.

“Even though we went down to 10-men, we kept the momentum up and we were unlucky to lose the game, so the response of the players going down to 10-men was excellent.”

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