The left back who came in from the cold

Last updated : 21 October 2003 By Neil Andrews
Robbie Ryan
This time last week Robbie Ryan was told that he no longer had a future with Millwall Football Club. After six years with the Lions, it looked like the door had closed on his career at The Den but as the saying goes, a week is a long time in football and with the sudden departure of Mark McGhee, the popular Irishman found himself back in the first team at the weekend.

"I was delighted to be back in", said Ryan, speaking to the Club's official website. "Dennis (Wise) picked the team on Friday and said that I was playing. It was a boost because on Monday I was told by Mark McGhee that if someone came in for me, the club would be willing to talk. I found that a bit upsetting after being here for five or six years."

Ryan's absence from the team left many fans wondering what he had done to upset McGhee and the player himself revealed that he was no longer flavour of the month with the dour Scot. When the news was announced that he could leave, it was greeted with shock by the Millwall faithful, many of whom voted for Ryan for last year's Player of the Year award, where he finished runner-up to goalkeeper Tony Warner.

"I hadn't been playing for the last few weeks and it looked as though Tony Craig was the number one, but obviously Dennis is in for a month and he picked me."

Ryan has now made six starts this season, with The Lions winning five of those matches including the 2-0 weekend win against table-topping United, compared with Craig's record of just one victory from nine. But Ryan isn't too downhearted at missing a large chunk of the season.

"It's a funny old game, on Monday thought I might have to leave Millwall, now you never know. I'm back in the first team, hopefully I can stay in the first team if a new manager comes in, he'll offer me a deal to stay here and it'll all be rosy. We've got to wait, but I'd love to get a new contract at Millwall."