Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
The Millers squad report back for pre-season training on Wednesday and boss Steve Evans says he expects his troops to arrive back in excellent physical condition.
New summer recruits Adam Collin, Richard Brindley, Joe Skarz and David Worrall will all be meeting up with their new colleagues, as they look to meet head-on the tough challenges they will face in what the Boss has promised will be a rigorous pre-season programme.
Evans has also confirmed that subject to a few minor details still to be confirmed, he expects two further new players to report for duty on Wednesday.
One player who will not be reporting back on Wednesday is the Millers talisman and Icelandic International, Kari Arnason. Due to his commitments to his country, where he was still playing in an International World Cup Qualifier in early June, Evans has granted him an additional weeks leave.
Evans, who has concluded a short break, was today involved in more transfer talks and admitted he was pleased with his close season progress.
"Our plans for pre-season have been done in the greatest detail,” he told www.themillers.co.uk
“Our objective is to get all of the players in our plans fully fit and match sharp for the first day of the season, and in turn that will provide the greatest of competition for places, that for me is essential.
"It will be good to see the lads again, they’ve all done Rotherham United, our supporters and myself proud last season, that last day win over Aldershot Town and promotion will never be forgotten. The new lads will also be with us and that always creates a bit of additional banter.
"In respect of Kari Arnason, I have given him an additional week off. The big fella was buzzing when I rang to tell him and he gave comment he will pay me back with his performances in the new season. Kari owes me nothing, he has been brilliant for us and we will all look forward to seeing him shortly.”
On the transfer front Evans is very hopeful that more new faces could arrive before Wednesday.
"I am still working on bringing another two or three new players in, sometimes certain players take a little longer to get over the line,” admitted Evans.
“My meetings with each of those players has gone very well and I have to say I remain confident they will join us but at the same time it really is work in progress and those targeted players also have other options.”
On players who maybe moving onto pastures new, the Millers boss confirmed there had been significant interest in the players that made available for transfer last month.
"I transfer listed four players at the end of last season. Nicky Hunt has now left us to join Accrington and we all wish the lad every success,” added Evans.
“Ian Sharps, Kayode Odejayi and Lionel Ainsworth remain available for transfer and all have significant interest in them. It is for each of them individually to decide if they should move on, but I have been very honest with them and I have made it clear to each of them they are not in my plans going forward. Each of those lads will be great signings elsewhere and that is why they have the interest shown in them.
“League 1 looks extremely competitive. I expect every match to be tough but at the same time we are looking forward to the challenge. There are a number of clubs who have already spoken openly about promotion and it really would take a strong argument to discount the likes of Wolves, Peterborough United, Bristol City, Brentford, MK Dons, Coventry and Preston North End, in my opinion all great clubs with good managers.
"We need to work hard and be fully prepared. We have a talented group but the bar has been raised in League One. We all need to embrace League One, be respectful but not fearful, I remain very confident in what we are doing at Rotherham United. In Rotherham we really are one town, one community, we are Team Rotherham."