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On-loan Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss hoping for Gillingham starting spot against Rotherham

By Luke Cawdell
Ryan Inniss leaves the field after being injured in his Gills debut against Sheffield United. Picture: Barry Goodwin

A place on the bench for Crystal Palace at Anfield six months ago was just a taster of what could be for Ryan Inniss.

But rather than sit around and wait for another sniff at the big time, the 18-year-old central defender is willing to go out and prove his worth.

An injury on his loan debut for Gillingham, at home against Sheffield United, has left him sitting on the sidelines for over a month. It’s made him even more determined to make an impact at Priestfield.

When Rotherham arrive this weekend, Inniss will be pushing for a return to the starting line-up.

He said: “It has been frustrating and I have been eager to play. I was thrown in straight at the deep end against Sheffield United but to play only 40 minutes did knock me. I felt a bit disheartened as well because I didn’t know if I would be going back to Palace.

“Gillingham trusted me and the medical staff have been great. I have been out a little longer than planned but I feel 100% now.”

“Gillingham trusted me and the medical staff have been great. I have been out a little longer than planned but I feel 100% now.”

Despite not playing for the past month, Inniss has benefited from being around a first-team environment.

Inniss has yet to play for Palace – a club he has been with since the age of 14. He made his first senior appearance earlier this season while on loan at Cheltenham.

Inniss’ time at Cheltenham didn’t go unnoticed as the then Palace manager Ian Holloway included him in the squad for the Premier League trip to Liverpool.

Another loan move followed, this time to Luton. Bad weather meant many of the games with the Skrill Premier leaders were postponed and he ended up making just three appearances.

Soon enough he was back out on loan, this time at Gillingham. His debut ended early but he is now fully fit and was back involved at MK Dons last Tuesday night, as an unused substitute.

“I was buzzing to be part of it again,” he said.

“I will be fighting for a place against Rotherham now but if I don’t get selected then I will just pick myself up and go again.

“This is a great club and I’m enjoying it. I am happy to be here until the end of the season and I thank the gaffer for taking me until the end of the season rather than just a month.

"He wanted to work on me and I want to repay him for that. I just want to get out on the pitch now and play.”

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