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Gaffer on a Sunday

6 October 2013

Steve Evans talks to

Steve Evans arrived at the Millers training ground this morning as he now prepares his team for a trip to York City on Tuesday evening.  We spoke to the Millers boss who started by reflecting on the victory at Griffin Park yesterday.

You said you expected a tough game yesterday, just how well did your players cope with a strong Brentford side?

Brentford was always going to be very tough, they are strong promotion candidates. Their squad has a very talented look about it and I knew our tactics in the game plan would be crucial as would our preparation in ensuring we had the lads ready to produce there maximum energy levels, I was not to be disappointed, collectively we got it all right.

It was always going to be the situation that Brentford would have a lot of the ball, but as always it is what you do with it that counts or even what the opposition allow you to do with it, our lads allowed them very little.

Scott Shearer had a good save from the lad Donaldson in the first half and he had a world class save in the last minute of the match, everyone was delighted to see big Scott back at his best. When you look back at the match DVD it was ourselves who had the best chances to add to our 1-0 lead as we counter attacked swiftly and with real purpose.

The lads worked incredibly hard, we mixed our game up and some of our keep ball passing late in the game was a joy to watch, we are getting better. This was a tough match, one of the more difficult places to come in League One but we dealt with it and it was a great reward for what again was a magnificent travelling Millers support.

Daniel Nardiello was a surprise omission from the starting line-up, how is his injury?

Nards was feeling his Achilles after training on Friday and it never settled down so on the advice of Denis Circuit I left him out of the team. It is nothing serious and I am told he should be training by later in the week which of course is the good news.

Talking of injured players, Michael O Connor will return to full training tomorrow and he will have a real chance of being included against Swindon Town next Saturday. Claude Davis is also making rapid progress and he could also be available, these are two key players for us so it will be good to have them available again.

On Tuesday we travel to York City in the JP Trophy, will you be making changes to the team?

There are obviously competition rules to be adhered to and respected but yes I will be making changes. It is important we get a few lads some first-team action but let me be very clear I will still want to win the match.

York City are in excellent form, scoring plenty of goals and it is always a tough place to go and get a result but we will plan and prepare as we do for every game, there will be no excuses. For those lads that do come in, it will be their opportunity to stake a claim for a regular first-team slot; at Rotherham United performances and positivity pick the team.

We have now played 10 matches in League One since promotion, how do you regard our start?

Like I have said recently I would say it has been a steady start, nothing more or nothing less. We have a great squad of players, they are real positive lads and again as I said the bad apples are not around, that helps everyone.

The lads here are capable of improving individually and collectively, more importantly they all want to and that alone is great news because I can assure you that is not the situation in every dressing room in League One.

Competition for a place in the team is excellent, the desire to win football matches is incredible and I will say again I really do believe in this squad of players. We have to keep the approach of taking one game at a time and it is my job to make sure we never get too high in confidence or spirit and equally to make sure it is not the opposite either, we need a consistent approach with focused players and staff.

We know you are keen to add to the squad, have you anything in the pipeline?

Yes I am keen to add quality players but not just any players. Hopefully we can add to what we have but as I have said before, we have to do our homework in respect of possible new additions; this includes how they are on the pitch and more importantly off the pitch. Our players and staff are in a very good place right now, they all enjoy coming to work and meeting the challenges, we do not need anyone trying to pull some players in a different direction.

We are now focused on getting ready for York City, that is the only thought I have. We are Rotherham United, our standards are high and it is everyone’s job to ensure we maintain our high standards. I love rewarding our supporters and we can only do that by winning football matches or at the very least doing everything we can to make that happen, to every one of them who travelled to Brentford, thank you for the wonderful support.

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