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Squad looking strong - Evans

21 May 2014

Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk

Steve Evans has reported his squad have a clean bill of health ahead of Sunday's trip to Wembley to face Leyton Orient in the League One play-off final.

The Millers manager has confirmed that full-back Richard Brindley, who missed the second-leg against Preston, is back in training and could force his way into the reckoning, just as he did for the first-leg at Deepdale.

Meanwhile Evans confirmed that both Michael O'Connor and Rob Milsom have impressed him this week as competition for places increases ahead of Sunday’s Wembley showpiece. 

Speaking exclusively to www.themillers.co.uk, Evans confirmed: 

"The squad is in great shape and with Richard Brindley back it certainly gives me more options just as it did at Swindon on the last day of the season and of course away at Preston North End in the first leg of our playoff semi-final.

"Richard is in terrific form and it has come at the right time. I then get the option of moving James Tavernier further forward and that gives me further options in relation to Kieran Agard and Ben Pringle.

"I have always picked players in form; there is no room for sentiment when it comes to team selection. I cannot ignore the form of Michael O'Connor, Rob Milsom or Haris Vuckic, those three are absolutely flying and obviously come into my thoughts to start the match. As always I will look closely over the next few days, consult with my staff then select the team as honestly as I do for every match any of my teams ever play. There is still a few days training for someone to grab a starting shirt, it really is up to those guys to shine.”

The Millers face Russell Slade’s Leyton Orient in the final and Evans admits it will be tough encounter when the sides so battle come 3pm this Sunday.

"Leyton Orient are a superb team with a very capable manager in Russell Slade, a man I like and respect,” Evans commented.

“Our opponents’ team has been carefully built over the last five years or so and like here at Rotherham United there seems to be a great relationship between Chairman Barry Hearn and Russell. They have a number of outstanding players and let no one be in any doubt about the size of our task at Wembley.

"Our preparations will, as I said, be the same for any other away match we have played this season. There is no fancy three of four day trips locked up in a hotel in London, we will travel down on Saturday afternoon and keep our focus on the huge challenge we face on Sunday."

The manager also confirmed he is hopeful that he could announce his first new signing for next season later this week, he added, " We are obviously very focused on Wembley but as with every club in the playoff finals there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get ready for next season.

"Our player targets will not change. In the main we want young, hungry and talented players who we have watched many times and of course we will balance that with some needed experience but they must have that desire I look for.

"Hopefully we can get something done in relation to a new player addition before the weekend, that now is down to my Chief operating Officer Paul Douglas. With the player I have spoken to several times, there is much competition to get him here but I am hopeful we could get it done."

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