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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

2 February 2014

Steve Evans talks to

We caught up with the manager this lunchtime as he left the Millers training headquarters and we put a number of questions to him as we continue with our weekly feature.

You’ve analysed the DVD of yesterday's home victory over high flying Leyton Orient, what is your in depth analysis? 

It really was a fantastic performance by all the players and staff who prepared the lads in exemplary fashion once again. Our performance had the highest of energies and intensity about it and that was what we spoke about to the lads in the days leading up to the match. The ability levels within our very talented squad are not questionable and the desire to win matches within the squad is as good as it can get.

For me Kari Arnason was back to his best and in midfield the four lads helped us dominate the match for long spells. Lee Frecklington is a stunning player for League One but then again so is Agard, Smallwood and Pringle.

Alex Revell scored a fantastic winner but it was his all round game I was delighted with, he caused some top class Leyton Orient defenders problems all afternoon. In the first-half Wes Thomas was outstanding and young Tom Hitchcock looked a real threat after taking over from Wes.

James Tavernier and Mark Bradley continue to impress whilst the competition for a place in the starting XI is now at the levels I want it to be.

Yesterday you withdrew both Wes Thomas and Claude Davis, can you explain why?

Yes of course. As I said yesterday Wes developed a tight groin but wanted to continue but after consulting with my Head of Medical I decided to take him off so there could be no further damage or worsen what was a minor issue.

Big Claude was on a yellow card and I did not want to run the risk of him being red carded so I removed that potential problem. Playing against a quality team like Orient is hard enough with 11 men never mind trying to beat them with a man less. I did think Claude was having an excellent match against some quality strikers.

The five loan players (Tavernier, Addison, Smallwood, Vuckic, Hitchcock) have been signed until the end of the season. We have been asked by fans if that would include them being able to participate in the play-off matches if we can secure a place at the end of the season?

Yes, each of those lads’ parent clubs have signed the Football League forms to confirm that and as such each of those players are with us until Rotherham United has kicked its last ball of season 2013/2014.

Can you update us on the injury situation?

We are in a good position at present but it can all turn against you very quickly in this game.

Craig Morgan - The Captain returns to full training tomorrow and is now fit for selection.

Wes Thomas - A minor tightening of the groin muscle. He should resume to full training by Wednesday.

Robert Milsom - A small thigh strain. The lad should be back in full training by Wednesday too.

On transfer deadline day you signed Nicky Adams and also extended the loan of Tom Hitchcock. There was rumour of interest in a number of our players, was this true?

Yes there was interest. I will not get into any specific detail as a lot of clubs want confidentiality and we will always respect that. What I can say is that I received interest in Kari Arnason, Alex Revell, Kieran Agard and Ben Pringle. My Chairman told me many weeks ago if I did not want to sell any of our players then turn down any approach from any club and not to bother him with it.

I kept my Chairman fully up to date and again I thank him for the fantastic support he gives not only myself but everyone at Rotherham United.

What is planned for the week ahead?

Another busy week as we prepare the lads for the match away at Colchester United next Saturday. They have been in brilliant form so we all need to make sure we put in the advance work needed to get a positive result down there.

We have a full weekly schedule of training plus I will be at matches on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Everyone is working hard and making sure we give ourselves every chance of winning football matches.

There is a very focused squad of professionals in the dressing room, those that had other ideas have been moved out. I will say again, you need to want to be a Miller, a focused individual and a player who wants to be at a progressive club.

I remind the players every day, we have a superb Chairman and just fantastic supporters, we are all fortunate to represent what I call a cause.

Let us enjoy yesterday's great win, it was thoroughly deserved and when you get our supporters celebrating at the end you as the manager desperately want to give them more of that.

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