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Gaffer on a Sunday

25 August 2013

Steve Evans talks to

Steve Evans was back at his desk this morning, firstly to review our match yesterday with Shrewsbury Town, and then to look ahead to Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Your thoughts this morning as you reflect on yesterday's 2 - 2 draw with Shrewsbury Town?

First I would say this would have been a match we would have lost last season, but we showed the greatest of desire for that not to happen and if anything we should have won the match over the 90 minutes.

We started the match a yard off the pace and that largely lasted for the full first half. None of our outfield players could have any claims to being close to the level of performance that they are capable of. I am not talking effort here, this squad of men give everything they have but we never won the ball back enough and when we did we never kept it long enough to deliver any quality play.

The second period was much improved but not enough. We dominated the entire half except the odd breakaway upfield by the visitors, our defending for both Shrewsbury goals was not good enough and again not the standards we set.

In League One you get punished when you are not fully functional in each area of the team and that is what happened yesterday. We have not been beaten for 11 matches but again I went away from the ground disappointed. Our squad of players have set their own standards and that is what they get measured against, yesterday in summary was not good enough for 45 minutes and in League One it takes 90 minutes to get all the points on offer, we must learn that as a group very quickly.

The lads were down and disappointed in the dressing room after the match, they knew what had just happened but as I said we must learn from it and do so very quickly.

Daniel Nardiello was given a second yellow card for dissent yesterday and will miss Aston Villa on Wednesday, what was your view?

It is totally out of character for the lad but at the same time not acceptable.

We have a strict internal code of discipline and it will be applied fully. This game we all love and share a passion for is wonderful is hard enough without issues like this having to be dealt with. Instead of travelling with the squad and playing a part at Villa Park on Wednesday he will be training with the youth team, that will hurt him even more so than the money he will lose because of his actions.

Moving on to Aston Villa, on paper it looks like a mountain to climb, what is your view as we now have the match firmly in our sights?

Well it will be like climbing Ben Nevis in our training shoes. Football will always be a game f shock results, every season in football history that has happened and that will continue for sure.

Villa are in superb form this season, they have top players, they have lots of youth and energy plus in my opinion they also have a top manager in Paul Lambert. We do not kid ourselves that this match will be tough and at times we might not see a lot of the ball so when we do we have to make sure we use our time with it effectively.

We will be taking somewhere in the region of four thousand supporters to Villa Park, they I know will give the team the best vocal backing we could get. When we arrive at Villa Park we do so as a very proud squad of men, that is the minimum criteria I want from all of us when we leave to head back to Rotherham. I want all of us to enjoy and embrace the occasion but we must deliver a huge performance if we are to cause a Cup upset, I believe we can.

The transfer window closes in just over a week, are we likely to see any new arrivals or departures?

In respect of departures, that is entirely up to the two players we have available for transfer. Both Lionel Ainsworth and Kayode Odejayi are good lads but they are not in our plans and will not play a part going forward. I was honest with both of them as far back as May and nothing has or will change. If they want to play football they will move on but only they know if that is what they want to do.

As for players coming in, the honest answer is I do hope so. We are trying to bring in a couple of new faces, needed in my opinion, but we are not alone in trying to get the players we want, there is plenty of competition for those lads services. League One is a tough league and it is full of quality players but we are in good shape ourselves. 

If we can get any new players in they need to offer us something we do not have in the current squad and essentially we get value for money. We have specific targets and if we cannot get them we will be patient and wait.

Are you expecting any of our current squad to be subject to offers in the week ahead?

The answer is no but you can never tell in this game, that I do know. I had one telephone call from a Championship manager last Tuesday about one of my players, but I told him the player concerned was not for sale unless the offer was crazy, he ain't called me back!

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