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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

19 January 2014

Steve Evans talks to

The manager was in a buoyant mood this morning as he reflected back on yesterday's victory away at Shrewsbury Town and that seemed the perfect place to start as we caught up with him for our weekly Gaffer on a Sunday feature.

Have you had the benefit of watching yesterday's match DVD and if you so what are your reflective thoughts?

Yes, I have watched the match DVD this morning. Nothing changed from my thoughts yesterday, we dominated the match and although a three goal win is fantastic at any time it really could and should have been more.

The lads worked tremendously hard and they got the rewards that come with that. Young Tom Hitchcock, for me a very natural finisher and very much in the mould of Adam Le Fondre of course a big Millers favourite, scored with a powerful header. Ben Pringle scored with a special strike but this kid now does this type of thing often. James Tavernier made our first goal, played a part in our second and scored a super goal after some great passing moves around the Shrewsbury penalty area.

We did not have any players worthy of special mention as I thought it was an excellent team performance but I must admit the match DVD clearly demonstrates just how good the performances were by Miles Addison and Lee Frecklington.

The team spirit and togetherness in the camp is now clear to see. The lads look forward to coming to work, they want to be better footballers and a massive part of that is a positive attitude and a real desire to play for Rotherham United, if they don't have that then I don't want them around.

I must also again praise the travelling Millers support. On a horrible cold and wet day our supporters turned up in great numbers and gave the team some brilliant vocal backing, we are all privileged to represent them.

Kari Arnason missed the match with a virus, can you update us on him, the injured and the suspended Claude Davis?

Losing Kari for any match is always a worry because he is such a key player for us but when he is not available for selection I have to remove him from my thinking. I can re-iterate what I have said many times, if he is 100% fit then he plays but the lad was poorly on Friday morning, hopefully he will bounce back in tomorrow and failing that it will be Tuesday at the latest. 

Claude Davis is now free from suspension and the big fella has trained really hard in the last couple of weeks so he is now available.

My Captain Craig Morgan will be back in tomorrow and he will begin his training ground recovery to get back playing after his small minor procedure to remove a small piece of floating bone in his toe. Craig is a determined man, someone who I really respect and the sooner he is back available for selection the stronger Rotherham United are as a team.

Young Danny Hylton is now 100% fit again and ready to play.

Last week you said you were working hard to strengthen the squad with a couple of additions, is that still the case?

Yes, absolutely. I am very clear on the players I want to add to the squad and my Chairman has again been wholly supportive, he has told Paul Douglas, our Chief Operating Officer, and myself to proceed. Our Chairman wants what I want, he wants what our players want and of course he wants what our supporters want and that is a winning Rotherham United.

Behind every manager is a team, how pleased are you with your staff?

I have a staff in place who are dedicated, trustworthy, loyal and will leave no stone unturned in wanting to make the team better. I man manage in a very democratic way, I need every one of the staff to play a part, I need their honesty, I certainly don't need or want yes men.

Paul Raynor, Paul Warne, Denis Circuit, Andy Dibble,  Garreth Barker, Mike Sheron and young Ollie Freeman have been fantastic. They all know they are highly regarded and valued. I do set high standards but these guys are delivering and it is a pleasure for me to work with them and be challenged continually to make us better as a team and a football club.

What is in the pipeline for the week ahead?

It is again a busy week but I would not want it any other way.

We have our normal training schedules and on top of that we have a reserve match tomorrow. I also have a lot of work to do in player recruitment, have a couple of matches to watch this week and I have already three community visits that will hopefully cheer up a few Millers.

This football club is on a journey and everyone should get on board the Millers express, it really is exciting!

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