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Gaffer on a Sunday

20 January 2013

Gaffer on a Sunday with Steve Evans continues this week as we catch up with him having a rare day away from Rotherham United;

Q - You have spoken of your disappointment at the match at Oxford United being postponed yesterday, did you enjoy a day off?

First let me say now that common sense kicked in and the match at Oxford United was actually postponed on Friday afternoon. Our supporters have travelled long distances this season on three occasions for the matches to be postponed late and that costs time and a lot of hard earned money.

Yesterday I actually had a very busy day but hopefully it will lead to something positive in relation to a player or two joining us. In the afternoon I took in a match as I wanted to watch a specific player and let me state it was the coldest I have ever been at a football match but I did get to see the player in action.

We all wanted the match at Oxford United on, the lads had trained hard all week. We have a great set of lads here and together we can be successful, but only by putting the hard work in will that follow.   

Q - Ian Sharps has gone on loan to Burton Albion, suggestions are that Claude Davis will join us from Crawley Town, can you update us on this please?

At present I am speaking to one more player other than Claude Davis but we will continue to do that as best we can in a private manner.

In relation to Claude, he is a big strong, aggressive, no nonsense central defender who helps organise those around him and in turn it allows the opposition fewer chances. We are not the only club talking to the big man, he has had six or seven good clubs wanting him to sign but he told me yesterday it is down to two, and Rotherham United are one of them. The lad will make his final decision later today and thus honour the strict signing deadline I gave him on Friday.

Q – After some hard work, Ben Pringle has extended his contract with the Millers, how pleased are you?

Ben is a top quality young player and one who has improved significantly since I joined. Paul Raynor deserves a lot of credit for that development as does young Ben himself, however in my opinion there is much more to come from him for sure.

The lad could have chosen to have signed for any one of two clubs at the top end of League One, but when he stated to me that he wanted to be a part of what we are trying to build here my Chairman did his part and turned down offers that would have got this football club hundreds of thousands of pounds.

We are all working hard to put a top squad of players in place and to compete for promotion in a league that is full of quality players with some great clubs too. Some continue throwing bombs into our camp, I suppose they cannot help themselves, but we will remain focused, determined and constantly reminding ourselves how much our team has progressed from this time last year. Today we are two points outside the automatic promotion places with two matches in hand; we would have snatched that off anyone who could have guaranteed us this back last summer when we started to put this squad in place.

Q - Given the weather what is in store for the players in the week ahead?

The weather has made it difficult as the training ground, pitches are frozen but it is essential we keep working the lads. They have enjoyed a bit of extra time off this weekend due to the match being postponed but they will in turn now put the hours back in as we prepare for Bristol Rovers at the New York Stadium next Saturday.

My friend, Dave Jones, the manager at Sheffield Wednesday has been brilliant and allowed us to use the indoor facility they have in place. That has allowed the football in training to continue rather than always be working in the gym doing purely physical exercise. 

The lads will train every day this week as we prepare for another big match, please get used to it because every single one now counts, every single point gained is absolutely vital.  

Q - The January transfer window has just over a week before it closes, can we expect any further players in or out?

My answer to that is yes but night does not follow day in football. There is a couple of players we have here who need to move on and whether that is via the loan market or permanent will depend on each individual circumstance. Some forget this is a new team we have built, I hear some managers talk about blooding three or four new signings, we have had to do considerably more than that and for all the right reasons.

Promotion is our target, the same for possibly another eight good football clubs, so we have no given right, it must be earned through hard work. We have a lot going for us, a great Chairman, a fantastic new stadium, wonderful supporters who really back the team, great staff off the pitch, and a lot of unsung heroes who are massive to our cause. Our playing squad is very good and together we can achieve but only together!

Up The Millers

Steve Evans  

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