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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

9 February 2014

Steve Evans talks to

Steve Evans was disappointed that the match at Colchester was postponed yesterday and when we caught up with him at the MIllers training headquarters this morning, his focus was now on next week and the game with Stevenage.

Yesterday's match away at Colchester United was postponed after an early morning pitch inspection, what was the surface like?

I was advised that the match referee was inspecting the pitch at Colchester at 8.30am so both Paul Raynor and myself attended alongside the management team from Colchester. It was very obvious at first sight the match would be off but the match referee proceeded to give the playing surface a thorough inspection but with surface water all over it was the only conclusion.

I immediately telephoned my Chairman Tony Stewart, Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas, our media department, BBC Radio Sheffield and sent a few text messages to supporters who I knew would be getting prepared to set off for the match. At that time it was only about making sure none of our supporters had a wasted journey and saved the appropriate money.

On arrival back at the team hotel the players were already preparing for us to set off home. Thankfully our football club will be fully reimbursed for what was ultimately a fruitless journey.

As a management team it was then a plan to watch other football matches. I personally took in the Walsall v MK Dons match, Paul Raynor went to Sheffield United and Andy Dibble was at Notts County so the day was not totally wasted.

Given our postponement yesterday, how do you think the other results at the top end of League One panned out for the Millers?

Let me be very clear, we cannot affect any other team’s results in League One unless we are playing against them of course. For me there was no real surprises with any result. I felt Peterborough United might win at Orient and they did courtesy of two very late goals but believe me they have got quality players.

Preston, who are flying at present beat Tranmere as expected and I watched an excellent MK Dons win comfortably at Walsall. Winning matches in League One is really tough. If you look at a quality team like Bradford City, they have won once in their last 20 games or so, that is a clear example of just how tough it is.

Every match in League One is tough but we will just keep trying hard to get an end of season play-off place, if achieved over 46 matches, it would be a brilliant achievement from everyone at Rotherham United.

We have a reserve match tomorrow at home To Mansfield Town, will any of the first team squad players be involved?

Yes, most certainly. We have a number of players who need a match and they will play but none of the lads scheduled to start at Colchester yesterday will play, they will train early tomorrow morning ahead of the reserve match.

These reserve matches are important for our players who play; it is an obvious way to show all of us that they should be starting against Stevenage on Saturday. What I know already it that I am thinking of a different starting team for next Saturday from what would have started at Colchester yesterday, two very different oppositions indeed.

The emergency loan transfer window is now open again, can we expect any movement?

The answer to that is there is nothing pending but it would be fair to say we would love to complete on one further addition but as yet we have not had the green light.

As I have said last week, there are probably one or two players here who could be doing with going out on loan to get some first team competitive action but as always that final decision has to be made by the lads themselves but they do have options.

There is the reserve match tomorrow at home to Mansfield Town, what else is planned for the week ahead?

The lads will have a full week of intensive training but this squad of players embraces the hard work ethic we have. The harder we work the luckier we will get and we will need a good week ahead of a very dangerous Stevenage team, whom I recently watched last week take apart Gillingham.

A trip up to watch Carlisle on Tuesday evening is also part of my plans as is my Valentine’s night visit to watch Peterborough v Walsall in a huge match in the race for the League 1 play-offs.

My assistant Paul Raynor and goalkeeping coach Andy Dibble will also be out watching matches; this is a time of the season where we must be fully focused and do our best to know everything that is going on in League One.

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