Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Steve Evans arrived at the training ground this morning and immediately began planning to face Preston North End the League One play-off semi-final. The Gaffer also reflected on yesterday's win at Swindon Town and updated us on several player questions in what is our last Gaffer on a Sunday feature this season.
Another great win away from home, this time at Swindon Town, how do you look back on the game this morning?
It was a terrific win. I am told it is the most away wins in the same season since 1951 and the second most away wins in the history of Rotherham United, everyone in the dressing room should be very proud.
I took the opportunity to give five or six players the chance to stake a claim in the starting XI for the play-off matches and a number of them really grabbed their chance. I thought our performance in the first-half yesterday was as good as we have been all season and we took apart an opposition that I really do have the greatest respect for.
Wes Thomas got himself two well taken goals and was hauled down in the penalty box but we did not get a penalty. Our passing and moving was outstanding, Rob Milsom was on top of his game and when that happens the opposition will always have a few problems.
We had to dig deep in the second-half as Swindon had much more of the ball. I told the players at half-time to expect that as they have a number of quality players. My lads stood strong and we still did enough to create a number of good chances. Young Kieran Agard was dragged down by the home goalkeeper but again no penalty, I think everyone in the County ground thought it was a spot kick.
I was delighted to get the points on offer and reward another sizeable Millers travelling support. All season they have travelled well and I always get a buzz when we send them home with a win. On behalf of all the lads and staff I thank every Miller who has travelled away this season and provided us the best vocal support any team could have - Thank you!
Yesterday you substituted Wes Thomas at half-time and Lee Frecklington looked to have taken a knock, can you update us on the injury situation?
Wes Thomas was withdrawn because I did not want him involved in any incidents off the ball. The lad was giving the Swindon Town defence a torrid time and it was obvious what they started to try and do so I removed a potential problem.
Lee Frecklington got a kick but we are all hopeful after a few days treatment he will be fine and 100% right for next week.
Miles Addison twisted his ankle in training and is working hard to be back available. Nicky Adams felt his hamstring and on top of that was ill, so he stayed at home. We will see in the next few days how he is.
We have a number of players out on loan, can any of them return and be involved in the play-offs if selected?
The only player who can return and play a part under the terms of his loan is young Daniel Rowe. He has just gained some terrific experience and will be back with us this week.
I can confirm that David Noble (Cheltenham Town), Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) and Kayode Odejayi (Accrington Stanley) have each finished their seasons and will not be returning to Rotherham United. I would like to thank each of those lads for what they contributed to the overwhelming success in the last two years and wish each of them every success in the future.
I will meet with both Danny Hylton (AFC Wimbledon) and David Worrall (Oldham Athletic) later this week to talk about the future. These meetings have already been in the diary for a while and it will be good to catch up with the lads.
The last of the players out on loan is Michael Tidser. He has been in superb form up in Scotland with Ross County in the Scottish Premier league. The season there has another week to go and then I will meet with the lad to outline the plans for next season.
Tell us about the draw, we know we have Preston North End as our play-off semi-final opponents, what are your thoughts?
It did not matter who we were going to play, I have the greatest respect for all the teams in the play-offs.
Preston North End will be favourites to win the play-offs outright so we know how tough our task is going to be. In summary, they are a fantastic football club with a squad of players packed with real quality. They also have a manager in Simon Grayson who has been successful in the play-offs previously so they have a lot going for them and if you add the fantastic support they have then you can understand the favourites tag.
This week we will again work hard and get as prepared as we can. We have a squad full of talented players who over the last two years have been brilliant. I have said all along I believe in my players and staff, these lads embrace hard work but at the same time enjoy the challenges we face.
We will have a brilliant support with us as normal and we will need every one of those Millers with us. Training as always this week will be varied and targeted to what we will face at Deepdale, it really is exciting and our rollercoaster continues.
Have you any message for the supporters ahead of the play-offs?
First let me say again, thank you to all the supporters for giving us the backing you have all season.
I have said before and I will say it again, it is with great pride that I am the manager of Rotherham United and I am proud to manage this team. My players really do enjoy playing for our supporters, the backing is as good as it gets.
Let us all remember we really are one town, one football club and one community, that is what sets us apart.