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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

8 December 2013

Steve Evans talks to

Steve Evans and his players were back at the training ground this Sunday morning as they prepare for the trip to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.

Your review of yesterday's FA Cup defeat to Rochdale on this Sunday morning?

First may I offer my congratulations to Rochdale and wish them every success in the 3rd round FA Cup draw later today.

Yesterday was always going to be a difficult match and it certainly is harder when you look at the players we had to play without. It is certainly not being used as an excuse as we had several big players for us who did play but at nowhere near the level they are capable.

Yesterday we had to be without our loan players, namely Nouha Dicko, Haris Vuckic and James Tavernier. Missing those three lads in isolation was never going to be the problem but when you add on top of that the likes of Michael O'Connor, Rob Milsom, Matt Tubbs and Pablo Mills then it was always going to be a problem. Young David Worrall sat on the bench but in reality that was to add weight to the numbers as he is not ready for first team action, it would have to have been a real emergency for the lad to play.

In respect of the match, we got ourselves in front and young Kieran Agard had two simple chances to add to our lead but unfortunately he did not take either chance, if one had gone in it would have been match over. Michael Tidser got himself sent off; he did not look the same player he did in our two previous matches that I do know.

We have got to defend much better in relation to the two goals scored, it really was two poor individual errors and when that happens you normally pay a price. Not for one second can you compare the team yesterday to the one that destroyed Gillingham, the personnel tell you it is like comparing apples and oranges.

At no time yesterday will I blame the match referee for the result but when I speak of my players not performing I also felt he had an off day. I am in no way questioning the integrity of the referee but he must surely be aware of his performance on the day, when you have Rotherham United interest it really was hard to watch it.

We must turn our attention to Tuesday night and our trip to Fleetwood Town, another tough game?

The first thing I know is that it will be a difficult match. Fleetwood have a fantastic Chairman in Andy Pilley, a good manager in Graham Alexander and a fantastic squad. I stated at the start of the season that I thought they would be the League Two Champions, I have seen nothing so far this season that has made me think anything differently.

At this stage I am not 100% sure as to what players we will have fit and available. What I do know is that we will make changes but we will respect and adhere to the competition rules. We also have a sickness bug in the camp as was shown with Matt Tubbs being absent yesterday and a few more players are feeling the affect so my team selection will have to be a late one but as I said changes will be the order of the day.

What I do know is that we will need to be significantly better than yesterday if we want to progress in a competition that we would like to reach the final and bring a trophy back to Rotherham.

Can you update us on the injuries and illness situation?

Michael O Connor has had his injection, he should return to training on Thursday. Rob Milsom has a back strain, we are hoping it’s a week till he returns, back injuries are often misleading.

Pablo Mills should be back available later in the week and David Worrall is ready for a match now albeit it should be a reserve match. 

As for the sickness bug I will not be naming the names of the players affected, at this present time there is four players struggling and are doubtful for Tuesday night.
What is planned for the week ahead?

Obviously we are now preparing for Fleetwood on Tuesday and we then immediately turn our focus to Bristol City next Saturday. What I do know is that our player resources are being stretched to the limit but I believe in these players totally. Everyone is hurting here this morning but there will also be a fight and spirit to get back on track, our objectives for the season still remain unaltered.

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