Bristol City boss McInnes ready to meet "fire with fire" at Millwall
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes has warned his players they must stand up to the physical threat posed by Championship promotion hopefuls Millwall at the New Den on Tuesday.
The Lions have emerged as the second tier's surprise package this season and, against all the odds, Kenny Jackett's team is contending for a play-off place.
Although City have done well against the Lions in recent meetings, Millwall's direct style is sure to cause the visitors problems in south London on New Year's Day.
City were able to play attractive passing football to beat Peterborough United 4-2 at Ashton Gate on Saturday, but are likely to have to adopt a more forthright approach in their next game.
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In-form striker Chris Wood may have returned to parent club West Brom pending a permanent move to Leicester in the January window, but Millwall still possess physically-robust players who will test a City defence that has yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
McInnes warned: "Millwall are physical and ask questions of you.
"Obviously, I'm delighted we are not facing Chris Wood, because he has been in fantastic form.
"But they have good strikers there anyway in Darius Henderson and Andy Keogh, who are players who can cause us problems.
"We managed to win down there last season with a god performance, but going to Millwall is always difficult and it will take something similar to get the job done this time.
"Three points are available to us on Tuesday and nobody is going to give them to us. We have to make sure we go into the game in the right mind-set.
"But Millwall are no more physical than Ipswich or Sheffield Wednesday and we've shown we can fight fire with fire if we have to.
"It will need another strong team performance to get the job done and, hopefully, the confidence gained from beating Peterborough, will help the players.
"The players have taken a real beating over the last few weeks and no-one likes to be beaten. Hopefully, they can take a real pride from their performance on Saturday and feel good about themselves."
Having deployed pace and invention to get the better of fellow strugglers Peterborough, McInnes will select a team that can fight fire with fire at the New Den.
He said: "We will utilise the squad again and the team will be different again going to Millwall.
"The changes we made against Peterborough when we were 4-1 up, with Jon Stead and Paul Anderson coming off, were made with Tuesday in mind."
Utility defender Richard Foster limped out of Saturday's game early in the second half after sustaining a hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature at the New Den.
McInnes said: "We think it could be a grade one tear and, if that is the case, he will be out for around 10 days. He will miss the Millwall game."
Stephen Pearson is also injured and unlikely to be considered.