Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Fresh from yesterday's 4 - 1 hammering of Accrington Stanley, we caught up with Steve Evans this Sunday morning to put to him a number of key questions for his weekly 'Gaffer on a Sunday' feature.
Having had time to reflect and watch the DVD of yesterday's win over Accrington Stanley, what are your thoughts?
It was a very important match in respect of the three points and I did not hide away from that in the build-up to the match. I thought for the first 20 minutes and the last half-hour we were excellent, workmanlike, passionate, creative and showed lots of ability, in those periods we could have scored a double figure tally.
The fact is though we have played much better in matches recently and despite dominating those matches we somehow lost, football at times is a cruel business. I have gone away from blaming referees when we get beaten but we really have been on the wrong end of bad decisions in recent weeks, and I have to tell myself it was nothing other than bad judgement on those days, our supporters may think it was more sinister than that.
Yesterday, from nothing Accrington scored a wonderful goal and we seemed to lose our way partially but the lads came through that and showed again they have the character needed to mount a promotion challenge. The Millers supporters again gave the lads some tremendous vocal backing; I can tell you how much we all appreciate your support.
Yesterday you notably left Nardiello and Pringle on the substitutes bench, what was the reason behind this?
In my opinion, both players looked tired on Boxing Day and since then showed no sparkle in training so I decided to bring in fresh players, more importantly I brought in good players.
Let me be very clear no player is guaranteed a place in the team, everyone has to earn it and I can tell you the lads here like that and respect it totally. Both players are big players at Rotherham United and will play a big part going forward. I signed Nardiello because I like him as a player and the attributes he has as a footballer, he is also a great lad off the pitch too. I brought Pringle back into the fold here, when I arrived the lad was disillusioned with his football but now he is focused and inspired, he just needs a haircut!.
The transfer window is fast approaching, are we likely to see any early business?
The answer to that hopefully will be yes. One player is definitely leaving us on a permanent basis and another will be leaving on loan, both these of course are subject to the paperwork being signed as agreed.
The Chairman has told me we are now closer to agreeing a deal with Peterborough United to purchase Lee Frecklington. The competition to sign this young man has been fierce with many clubs interested, but with Lee making it clear to all of them that his first choice was Rotherham United, that has helped enormously, hopefully we can get this completed but I will only sleep easy when the Chairman tells me the lad has signed to be a Miller.
We are also trying to add three other players and discussions are taking place with those football clubs. For me that would involve one more permanent signing and two loan signings.
Of the current loan players we have, Luke Rooney has now returned to Swindon Town, all the others have stated they would like to stay at the New York Stadium, I will discuss all of this with my staff and then talk to the Chairman about what I would like to do.
The focus is now on our New Year’s Day fixture away at Rochdale, what can we expect?
I can say now we will face a very good opposition. They have very talented players, will be very organised and we go up there when they are playing very well.
Later today I will watch a DVD of their match at Bradford City, a game I am told they totally dominated and from that I will then start to consider our team for that match. We will prepare the players in an exemplary manner and they will have no excuses but yes is will be very tough.
Finally, can you update us on the current injury situation?
It is starting to look much better. Dale Tonge, David Noble and Lionel Ainsworth are all now back in full training and will play in the reserves in the next week. I have to say David Noble has looked awesome in two practice matches we have played but I need not take the temptation of putting the lad straight in the first team, he needs some proper match time before then.
We are due a period when we have the majority of the squad available, it has been cruel at times but the lads have dealt with it.
Finally may I move on and wish every Miller supporter a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. The last 12 months has seen this great football club come back home to the town, play in a magnificent new stadium that is the envy of all others and we are moving forward as a team, competing for promotion and still in the FA Cup, it is a great time to be a Miller.
On a personal level, again thank you for the support you give me, it has just been incredible and you can be assured that we will all be doing our best to bring you a brilliant 2013, Happy New Year!