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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

25 November 2012

After a long trip back from Exeter, Steve Evans was back at work this morning as he began to prepare his team for a tough trip to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening; before his work began for the day he spoke exclusively to, and gave us answers to our 'Gaffer on a Sunday' questions.

Q - A long trip and a difficult match at in-form Exeter City saw the Millers return with three points, what are your thoughts on the match?

You are right to say we faced an in-form Exeter City. In the last week they had won at Bradford City and away at Gillingham so we all knew it was going to be a real tough afternoon.

I thought the lads put in a superb performance and it is no secret when they work as hard as they did yesterday we win football matches. We have a lot of ability in our squad but you need to match the effort of the opposition for that ability to shine. I was disappointed not to be more than 1-0 up at the interval but the lad in goal for Exeter had two great saves from Alex Revell and then Johnny Mullins.

We passed the ball, we moved their defenders around and we had a nice solid shape in the team all afternoon. Our supporters travelled a long way in terrible weather and I am as delighted for them as anyone that we got such a good win. If over the season I can get the passion in my team that is in our supporters we will have a very successful campaign.

We went into the match yesterday and won with a terrific performance without the likes of Shearer, Tonge, Arnason, Noble, Ainsworth, Morgan, Agard and of course Lee Frecklington, that is a sign that we have a really talented squad and it will take all of that if we are to be in the promotion race come the end of the season, but yesterday we beat a team in Exeter City who will be. They have good players, a super manager and great supporters who really get behind their team so allowing for all of this it was a great win.

Q - Mitch Rose received a Red Card late on in the match, what are your thoughts on that decision?  

I must admit when the referee gave young Mitch the Red Card I thought it was an awful decision but having reviewed the DVD I must say the referee was 100% correct.

Mitch went for the ball but he has left the floor in a two footed manner and as the referee was right on top of the incident he got it right. I do not think the referee had his best game on the day and it certainly felt we were on the wrong end of decisions, especially late on in the match but let me say now that this is a very good match official who I have had many times, and perhaps when I review the full DVD later today I will have a different view.

What is important is that Mitch learns from this incident. I really like this lad, he can certainly play and he is one I am looking at and thinking, go on son make yourself a career in this game, because he certainly has the ability.

Q - We are all aware that we have been smashed with injuries to a big part of the squad, are we expecting any of these lads to be fit for consideration at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening?

I would think it is more likely to be Saturday rather than Tuesday before we see any of the lads out the medical room and back in contention for a place in the team. Our Head of Medical, Denis Circuit, is working around the clock and his dedication is to be admired. Today and tomorrow we will look specifically at a couple who are now very near to being fully fit but I will leave this to the medical department to advise me.

It is important we do not have any setbacks like we have had with David Noble; he was due to return and went over on his ankle again innocently in a practice match. What I do know is that when these players are back fit each and every one of them will be like a new signing, sooner rather than later I trust.

Accrington are a decent team with good players and a new manager, so Tuesday will be another tough away day. Yesterday they drew at home with Gillingham and did more than enough to win the match and in mid-week they went to Fleetwood Town and won very easily, so we need no further indication of how tough it will be.

Q - We enter a new week, and at the end of it we have a huge FA Cup tie at home to high flying League One side Notts County, are you looking forward to it?

First let me say that I will have no focus on my mind until we leave Accrington on Tuesday evening, but from then on it will bring some major excitement, this is the FA Cup!

Notts County are unbeaten away from home in around nine months, it is an incredible achievement and a club record so you can see the size of our task. County have passionate supporters just like we do at the Millers, and the match will have a fantastic atmosphere, it is one of those football days to really look forward to.

The FA Cup is a magical cup competition, the best in world football according to some of football's greatest ever managers and for me it has just been incredible but I am desperate to help give our supporters those special days; they deserve it for sure.

Q - Finally, you had a very busy time last week with the loan transfer window closing, did you get all the business done you wanted?

The short answer is no, but we must be very satisfied with what we did get done.

The loan signings of young defenders Liam Ridehalgh and Jack O'Connell are excellent and both will play a meaningful part.

Johnny Mullins has been recalled from a loan spell at Oxford United, he was excellent yesterday and playing like that then he will keep his shirt.

We got some great news when Craig Morgan signed an 18 month deal, he is simply a top class defender. It was also pleasing that Lee Frecklington extended his loan and both Peterborough United and ourselves hopefully can agree a deal for that to be a permanent signing in January.

Laurence Wilson has now left us and it is not easy to make that decision when he is such a nice lad. We had an excellent relationship so that made my decision even more difficult but I must do what I think is right for the team. Someone asked me yesterday if he had his contract paid up, absolute nonsense!. This was all about the lad wanting to play and if possible allowing him to move back home to Liverpool with his young family, I really wish him good luck and his words to me on Friday meant something.

We lost out on a couple of quality signings but for now that is gone but the opening of the January transfer window is not too far away, - watch this space!

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