Steve Evans was at our Parkgate training ground this morning as he set about preparing for the visit of Wycombe Wanderers to the New York Stadium on Tuesday evening, as always he answered our questions in his ‘Gaffer on a Sunday’ weekly feature.
First can you give us your thoughts on yesterday's performance and subsequent victory over high-flying Cheltenham Town?
Our opposition yesterday are a very decent team, packed with good players and we needed to produce a good performance to beat them, in fact we did more than that, it was an excellent performance from the lads.
We gifted Cheltenham a goal inside the first minute and we all waited to see what character we had inside the Rotherham United shirts. The lads showed a real grit, a real desire and from that minute on there was one team playing quality football, making chances and playing with the greatest of determination. When this Millers team plays like that it really is hard to contain but we must being doing it every time we enter a match, every point is crucial. At one period in the second-half we had over 81% possession which is an incredible statistic but it did not surprise me as we laid siege to the visitors’ goal for long long periods.
Once again we had to re-shuffle the pack when Craig Morgan came off but give credit to the lads for carrying on with the same dominance. It was also nice to see two young men make their Football League debuts in Courtney Cameron and Nicky Walker, both these lads will never forget yesterday no matter where their careers take them. Young Courtney has got terrific ability but it was his work ethic that also stood out for me, he certainly is a welcome addition to our dressing room. I must thank Paul Lambert at the Villa for his assistance in allowing young Courtney to be with us.
I must pay a special mention to our supporters, the vocal levels and general support of the team is just staggering and our supporters should be applauded. I can tell you now it makes a massive difference and even when we went a goal down so early yesterday the Millers support got behind the lads, that was a test they passed with readily because I know not all teams would have got that type of support but at the New York Stadium we are all in this together.
For me our supporters really are a twelfth man and your massive contribution is appreciated by all of us, thank-you!
Can you update us on Craig Morgan and the latest on the injury crisis affecting key members of the squad?
Last night I could have cried when it was confirmed Craig will be out for four or five weeks. A number of hours in the hospital including several x-rays confirmed he has broken a small bone at the bottom of his fibula. The lad has been brilliant for us and is a loss but added to the big players we have missing it really is another big blow but we will deal with it.
I will speak to the Chairman later today and present my preferred option to cover Craig and I can say now I do have a few to consider and it is not straightforward, it needs to be considered carefully.
As for the other injuries there is nothing to report other than none of them are close to returning. This injury crisis is the worst I have ever experienced but you don't get down, it makes you fight harder and demands you work smarter.
The loan transfer window will close on Thursday, could anything happen before then?
You have just asked me the same question that every member of the press asked after yesterday's match. In respect of players going out, I am really short of numbers given the injury crisis we are experiencing but yes there may be a couple who we will offer to go and play some first team football rather than sit and watch us on a Saturday afternoon.
It looks likely we will try to add to the squad. Yesterday we had three youngsters on the bench, a couple to many for me at this key stage of the season but at the same time what we are going through at present with injuries is unprecedented. As we did with young Courtney Cameron I want us to go about our business in silence and if the business is done let our fantastic supporters be the first to know.
I know the players I want here, the Chairman also knows but it must always offer us value for money. Our squad is outstanding but at present we are operating with a third of it in the medical room and not on the training ground, this really is a testing and important period.
On Tuesday evening we host Wycombe Wanderers at the New York Stadium, what can we expect?
I can say now we can expect a really tough evening against a decent team.
Wanderers lost yesterday at Northampton Town but it was an evenly contested match in which they were very unlucky to have lost. They have a manager who I respect and a number of talented players who can certainly play. They are a good footballing team who will fight hard and that has to be respected. Later today I will watch some DVD recordings of their recent matches so I will know more again after that.
We need to be focused and full of energy so I may look to change a few things for Wanderers visit but let me look at the heart rate and dehydration data today and again tomorrow before I finalise my decision in respect of the team and shape ect.
It has been confirmed that the Board of Directors have granted Paul Warne a testimonial, what are your thoughts?
It really is deserving. When I joined the Millers I made an application to the Chairman for 'Warney' to be given his day and the Board have backed it unanimously. He is a dedicated and loyal member of my staff and was a player who gave his all in a Millers shirt. When I arrived his opinion was never sought, now it is key and invaluable just like Paul Raynor's, Andy Dibble and Dennis Circuit all are.
He will enjoy some events throughout the year and a great day of football when his testimonial is played next summer. I have no doubt he will get a great turn out on the day and he will remember it till his last days but for now he has a job to do heading up our fitness department.