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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

26 January 2014

Steve Evans talks to

It is a wet and blustery Sunday morning at the Millers training headquarters but Steve Evans, his staff and players were all on duty as the preparations begin for the trip on Tuesday evening to Tranmere Rovers.
Looking back on yesterday how do you assess the game with Crawley Town?

As a manager, player or supporter we all have views during and after matches but when you have watched the full match DVD the morning after then you have complete clarity.

We started the match on the front foot and it should have been contest over as we contrived to miss what can only be described as three easy chances. We did not take them and even if we had teams in League One are always going to be dangerous on the break and especially a team that consists of talented players like Nicky Adams and Billy Clarke.

Young Kieran Agard showed courage when he stepped up to take our penalty after recently missing one at Port Vale but he practiced all week in training and looked confident so I gave him the task, he certainly did not let me down.

There is no doubt we should have led at the interval but we did not step up in the second-half like we should have done. Our passing became sloppy and despite the players working as hard as they can they did not work with the usual intelligence these lads have.

By our standards we did not play to our normal standards, not one player for me did that but let me be very clear every player gave the maximum amount of effort they possibly could. It may have taken us to added time to equalise but we laid siege to Crawley Town goal for the last 10 minutes. I must thank our supporters, every one of them stayed with the lads right to the end and I'm sure that they somehow helped suck the ball into that net, thank you!

We were all disappointed at only getting a point but I have to say I am pleased we got one on a day that could have started so promisingly and yet delivered nothing. Crawley have won away at Leyton Orient and drawn away at the likes of Wolves and Coventry so it was never going to be a straight forward three points but I got the feeling some of our lads did, let that be a warning there is no easy wins in League One.

Yesterday we started without Lee Frecklington due to a hamstring problem and Alex Revell was withdrawn with a minor calf strain. Can you give us a full injury update?

We definitely missed Frecks yesterday but any team would, he gives us so much energy. It will be tomorrow before the medical staff can say with any certainty if he will be available for selection on Tuesday but I really am hopeful he will be.

In relation to Revs we are hopeful that yesterday his calf muscle had a cramp spasm, again it will be tomorrow before we are certain of that so we won't know much more before then.

Our Captain, Craig Morgan, will be back on the training ground tomorrow and despite Tuesday night being too soon there is a real chance Morgs will be available for Saturday, well ahead of the original timescales we were given, so great credit must go to our Physiotherapist Denis Circuit.

League One has no doubt taken shape and we are this morning firmly in the end of season play-off race, what are your thoughts on how the table is shaping up?

When you see a very talented Peterborough United team leading 3-0 at half-time and lose the match despite still leading as they entered the 90th minute of the match it demonstrates clearly just how hard League One is. I can also look much closer and see the likes of Sheffield United sitting on top of the relegation trap door, which further says how tough it is. There are simply no poor teams in this league, the players are of an excellent standard and very often it is a fine line between whether you win or lose.

We are working as hard as we can to keep in the play-off race. I get fantastic support from the Chairman and everyone at Rotherham United, our supporters are brilliant in every aspect and if we all remember by only sticking together can we be ultimately successful. On many occasion last season many lost belief in us delivering promotion but not for one second did I ever think we wouldn't be in League One this season.  I am so determined we can win enough battles to be in that top elite group come the end of the season but at the same time I know just how big a task that is for all of us.

The transfer window is due to close on Thursday, are we likely to see much transfer activity before then?

There might be the possibility of one more addition and one leaving but in the main our squad is good to go for the second part of the season. What I can say now is that none of our main squad will be leaving; every one of those lads has an important role to play in the months ahead.

We have a talented squad of men, a dedicated and loyal group, lads who want to train hard, they want to improve every day and most important of all they want to win. On a number of occasions I have said that if any player lacks the desire or forgets the purpose at Rotherham United they need to be moved on. The greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, led by example in this. It is never easy at times to move good players on but for the benefit of the team a manager has to make those tough decisions, after all my job is to manage the team and do so taking everything that is best for it into consideration.

You are now preparing the team for Tuesday night's match away at Tranmere, what can we expect?

I can say now that we will face a team that will be organised, efficient and full of confidence after a big win over Crewe on Saturday.

The pitch, given the weather will be difficult, but it will again all be about what we do as a team. I could also name you the Tranmere team we will face and the obvious individual threats they have so our lads will be fully briefed as to what they can expect.

As for ourselves, I will have a good look at everyone in training this morning and again tomorrow before we select the team for another tough match. What I know is that we are in a very exciting time and despite the nervous tension is causes all of us we should embrace these great times being a Miller!

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