LIONS BID TO EARN ANOTHER VICTORY...
CELEBRATING Millwall fans have branded today’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Watford as VIL Day – Victory in Lewisham Day.
The threat of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) from Lewisham Council in relation to land around The Den in South London was perceived as potentially terminal to the club.
But a council announcement on Thursday stated they would not be proceeding with any CPO – a decision welcomed by fans, with celebrations planned for today’s FA Cup tie.
On the pitch, the Lions produced a spectacular display to outclass Bournemouth 3-0 in the third round and face Premier League opposition again, this time an out-of-form Hornets side.
Defender Shaun Hutchinson, 26, (hamstring) will not be available for boss Neil Harris and 21-year-old striker Harry Smith suffered a dead leg in an under-23s game ruling him out, but otherwise the Lions have a fully-fit squad.
New defender Jake Cooper, the 21-year-old signed on loan from Reading earlier this month, is expected to retain his spot after a debut against Bradford last weekend and Harris has placed the pressure firmly at the door of Watford.
He said: “I don't think my players will be under pressure because I have told them to go out and enjoy themselves.
“We are seeing this as a free hit and an opportunity to cause Watford some problems. It’s an opportunity for my players to test themselves.
“This time we are playing one of the big Premier League boys on national TV. The beauty of the Emirates FA Cup is we have a chance to cause an upset and that’s why people from all over the country will be watching.”
Meanwhile for Watford, former West Ham and QPR striker Mauro Zarate, 29, signed from Fiorentina by manager Walter Mazzarri this week, could be available for his debut.
Mazzarri has also brought in AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, 22, on loan as he looks to add firepower to a squad which has scored just 25 goals in 22 Premier League games.
The Hornets have been sliding down the league table of late, with their 2-0 win over Burton in the third round the only victory in their last eight games.
THUMBS UP: Lions boss Neil Harris