Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Steve Evans had a huge smile on his face as he arrived at the Millers training ground this morning following the victory over Gillingham yesterday, as always we got his reflective thoughts on the game.
What is your reflective thought's on yesterday's 4-1 victory over Gillingham?
I thought yesterday it was a stunning performance and I have just watched it in full this morning, that option has not changed and has only been further endorsed.
The quality of our football, passages of play, passing, movement, ball retention, width, creation of goalscoring chances, lethal finishing and most of all maximum effort was very evident for all to see. We have an excellent squad of players, all very focused young men and our work on the training ground again was very clear for everyone to see.
It would be difficult to highlight any individuals from yesterday considering the team performance was so good. Ben Pringle was given the sponsors man of the match and I could not argue with that choice but for me the likes of Frecklington, Tidser, Revell, Agard and our recent new loan signing James Tavernier were all top class, especially Michael Tidser who was simply outstanding.
We are a team who are improving as we go forward and like last season we will certainly be a better team in the second half of the season. The fitness levels in the squad are exceptional and when we have the likes of Michael O'Connor, Rob Milsom, Mark Bradley and David Worrall back from injury and available for team selection then it can only improve us because each of those lads are in my opinion top class.
As I have just said, young Newcastle United loanee James Tavernier made his debut yesterday and was excellent. I have watched this lad develop over the last few years, he will only get better and I can say now there is much more to come from this talented lad. His team mate from Newcastle Haris Vuckic is another lad who excites me; he has fantastic ability and is sure to be a big player for us in the week ahead.
You have highlighted the injured players, are we likely to see any of them soon?
We are hopeful that Michael O’Connor will have benefited from some rest, we will know more about him later in the week when he visits a consultant but we are hopeful it is a condition we can work on as he continues to play.
Rob Milsom should return to full training in the week ahead so all being good he should be back in contention for a starting place next Saturday. David Worrall is back in full training, hopefully it's all systems go for the lad now. Mark Bradley is a fantastic professional and will be back in around two weeks, Saturday week when we travel to face Bristol City is a realistic target.
Before the emergency loan window shut you signed James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic from Newcastle United and Nouha Dicko from Wigan Athletic, did you miss out on any other preferred targets?
Six months ago our Chief Scout was banging on about the three lads we signed and after months of trying to get them here we eventually got it done. It goes without saying I am grateful to both Alan Pardew and Owen Coyle for the very courteous and professional manner they dealt with my interest in their players.
I had one further player I really wanted here but sadly we just could not get it over the line. The player concerned made it very clear he was very keen to join us but despite many hours trying we just failed to reach an agreement with his current club. I am very satisfied with the squad we have, there is excellent competition for a starting place in the team and that is clearly what we want.
Are we likely to see many players arrive or leave in January?
I have to be honest and say I am only interested in December for now. My sole focus is preparing the players for the FA Cup match with an excellent Rochdale team next Saturday.
What I can say is that I know now which players I want to bring here in January and the best news on that is that our Chairman and my boss Tony Stewart is very comfortable with my plans. No first team players who have a major part to play here will be leaving and again my Chairman has backed me on this, his support both personally and professionally is fantastic.
What have you got lined up in the week ahead?
The preparation starts today and will continue all week for next Saturday's home FA Cup match with Rochdale, I expect a stern test. On Tuesday we have a reserve match away at Scunthorpe United but given our current injuries it will be a very young Millers team that plays. At the same time it gives the youngsters a great opportunity to play against men, a big step up but a measurement they need to have at this stage of their development.
Our work on the training ground will continue, the more you practice the better it should be.
Finally, many of you know that I am a proud Glaswegian so when I woke up yesterday morning to the tragic news and it grabs you especially when it's your home City. I have watched the live pictures on TV and I extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected with this tragedy.