Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Boss Steve Evans cannot wait for the league action to get underway the Millers yesterday concluded their pre-season matches.
Evans has watched his squad compete against four quality Championship opponents, a severe test for the League One club, but Evans is confident that the preparation will stand the Millers in good stead as the new season unfolds.
“Pre-season has been tough for all of us but I do believe the lads have enjoyed it,” The Gaffer told www.themillers.co.uk
“The fitness levels within the squad are excellent and all bar the odd exception the plan to get every player a targeted number of playing time minutes has been delivered.
“Pre-season is unusual in that results do not count. Do not get me wrong, I do not want to lose even when I play Monopoly with my kids but during the pre-season match programme there always must be a bigger picture and that of course is next Saturday.
“In all the matches we have played recently, from a players’ performance aspect there have been winners and losers in each of them but as an experienced manager you know that will be the case. On top of that some players are never at their best until the match has a real edge to it, all these things are part and parcel of getting ready.
“We are hopeful that by the end of the week we will have everyone in our squad training and working hard for a place in the team for Crewe Alexandria. Our opening day opponents in League One will be very tough, that I do know, then a few days later we host a great club like Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup, it really is exciting.”
We could not let the manager escape without again asking him for his thoughts on the signing of striker Matt Tubbs.
“Tubbsy has a great asset in that his work rate for the team is incredible and on top of that there is a little bonus in that he can score a goal,” added Evans.
“The lad had a number of options put to him this week as a number of League One clubs chased his signature, but he told me last season that if he left AFC Bournemouth either on loan or permanent then Rotherham United would be his first choice, like me he is a man of his word.
“The lad comes here and appreciates he is not guaranteed a starting place in the team, he has to earn the right to be selected. He already knows that there will be good competition to get on the team sheet but we have added some real quality to our squad when it comes to scoring a goal, his record is highly impressive.”
Evans hasn’t ruled out further strengthening his side, but admitted he was pleased with his overall summer recruitment.
“Our squad is excellent and full of talented players so first let me say I am pleased with the business we have done over the summer,” he said.
“The squad is fit and in great shape. Once again there is a real togetherness in the dressing room, the desire to have a good season is in everyone of us.
"In respect of squad recruitment I might have one more little iron in the fire so to speak and if that happens we would be complete. It is also my intention to look at sending a couple of our youngsters out on loan so they can continue their football education. Like every Millers fan I am excited about the season ahead, the challenge of League One and yes we really are going to enjoy the second part of our train journey, last season was the first part!”