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Club News

Gaffer on a Sunday

9 March 2014

Steve Evans gives his weekly update...

Steve Evans was firmly focused on the Millers' trip to Oldham Athletic on Tuesday evening as we caught up with him this morning, but the manager also took the time to answer a few questions we put to him as we continue with our weekly Gaffer on a Sunday feature.

Q - Given we had no game yesterday was the team in for training?

It is always strange when there is no football for us on a Saturday and yes of course we still need to work.

Yesterday we took the opportunity to have a 75 minute practice match at New York Stadium. The match was played in a real competitive fashion, there was some outstanding play, some great challenges and a few super goals too. A couple of the lads have certainly given me something to think about when it comes to selecting the starting XI for Tuesday night. 

Competition for a starting place in the team is fantastic and as a manager that is what you want. With everyone fully fit there will be competition even for a place on the substitutes bench and at this stage of the season that really is an added bonus.

Q - Did the staff and yourself get the chance to watch any football yesterday?

Yes of course. It is paramount that we are out watching football, we are all always learning. Paul Raynor took in the Oldham versus Preston North End match, our Chief Scout took in the Walsall versus Wolves derby and I went to watch Peterborough United versus Crewe so in summary we watched all our next three opponents.

Q - In summary not many results went our way yesterday, do you agree?

I have always maintained we cannot influence what goes on at other clubs and we don't want to either. What I do know is that we need to keep fully focused on ourselves, our task is hard enough. We have a great squad of dedicated players, top class staff, a brilliant Chairman and supporters that are as good as if not better than many in football.

Our fight for an end of season play-off place continues and for me it will do right until the end of the season. League One is a really competitive league and nothing is given to you, everything you get has to be earned.

For us to get into that play-off group come the end of the season we need to prove a lot of people wrong and I am determined to make that happen. We are very focused on taking one match at a time and that is Oldham Athletic on Tuesday evening. They are a team full of good players and it is another difficult match for us. After Tuesday evening our next two opponents are quality teams Walsall and Peterborough United, but I won't worry about them until they are next on our list.

Q - The transfer window for emergency loans slams shut for the season in a couple of weeks, have you any plans to add to the squad?

Our Chairman knows my plans in every detail and has told me to proceed. What those plans are obviously have to remain confidential but I will say now that we are working on a couple of player acquisitions. What also has to be said is that we have a brilliant squad of players, a team spirit in the camp that is envied by many other clubs and here at Rotherham United we are all pulling in the same direction.

Q - Finally, with 12 matches left in our season, can we make those sought after play-offs?

The answer is a clear yes but we must remain as focused as we have been all season.

I have the greatest respect for the teams fighting for a play-off place, teams such as Walsall, Peterborough United, Swindon Town, Milton Keynes Dons and Port Vale are all very capable. We are the one team no one predicted to be in there at this stage of the season but we are in this fight on merit.

We all need to stick together, on and off the pitch. I believe in my players, they love coming to work and we have some really talented lads. No team has ever won a play-off place with twelve matches to go in a season, every one of them is now so crucial, in fact, every point gained is huge. We need our brilliant supporters with us, they really do make such a difference especially at this stage of the season.

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