Assistant Manager studies fixtures...
Assistant Manager Paul Raynor expects a tough start when Rotherham United kick off their Championship season against Derby County on August 9th, with the defeated play-off finalists hosting the newly promoted Millers.
As the fixtures were released at 9am this morning, Raynor had chance to take them in before explaining the extra incentive for the side to get a result at Pride Park.
“None of the games are easy, but Derby had a good end to the season since Steve McClaren came in and did a wonderful job so it will be tough but certainly one that the players and the staff will look forward to and I’m sure the fans will relish going to Pride Park which is a magnificent stadium. It will likely be a full house on the opening day and one to look forward to, and as an ex Forest player I’d love to go there and get a result but it’s one that’s going to be difficult.”
The key dates see the Millers away to open the campaign and to finish it, with the first home game of the season coming against Wolverhampton Wanders, a team with whom the Millers shared 16 goals in their two outings last time out.
“You look for that first home game which should be good,” Raynor added. “They will know all about us, we know all about them, we did well against them last season and had two very entertaining games; then I looked to the Boxing Day fixture which is another full house usually and is another one of my old teams, Huddersfield Town so that’s another fixture I’m looking forward to.
“It’s no secret I’m a Nottingham boy so I was looking for Forest and I’ve got to wait until December but as I say they’re all exciting looking games and the teams we talked about wanting to play and it’s looking very real now.
The final four fixtures sees Steve Evans’ men face two recently relegated sides from the Premier League and Reading before finishing the season with a Yorkshire derby at Elland Road, a tough run-in on paper, but not something that is concerning the Millers’ Assistant boss.
“As I’ve just heard on my way in, the game’s not played on paper and if we thought like that then not many people would have had us in this division this season anyway but we’re just looking forward to pitting our wits against the top teams in this division.”