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Club News

Gaffer's Monthly Update

5 October 2014

Steve Evans gives his monthly update...

This season Steve Evans is answering any questions we put to him on a monthly basis and today we return with our second feature of the season, and we started with yesterday's 1-1 draw away at Championship league leaders Norwich City.

Can you now provide us with your reflective view this morning on the point taken from Carrow Road yesterday?

For me it was a match in which we competed from start to finish and the least we deserved was the point we got. Many will look at the possession Norwich City enjoyed but others will look at which team created the better clear chances and there is no doubt that was Rotherham United.

Matt Derbyshire was unlucky on two occasions and both Jordan Bowery and Jonson Clarke-Harris went very close to putting us 2-0 in front. Craig Morgan had a great header cleared off the line and had that gone in at that stage it would have been game over.

The lads are working so hard, sticking with our game plan and it has to be said executing it with some real determination. No one gave us a chance of beating Blackburn Rovers in mid-week, we did that comfortably, and again most wrote us off before yesterday at Norwich City but we, the group, thought we could win.

Norwich City are a quality football club, a superb squad of players and a support that will help take them a long way. It is matches like we have had this week that makes us enjoy competing at this level even more than we thought we would.

Finally a word of praise for our support who travelled to Norwich yesterday, again you backed the team from start to finish, we are indeed proud to serve you all - thank you.

International break time and that now means two weeks without football, what are your plans for the team?

All the players except those away on International duty will be in training as normal plus we have arranged a couple of closed door matches so we make sure the lads’ competitive match time is kept high, plus of course we have a number of players we want to get some match minutes into during this time.

Personally I have a few days on a coaching course but every other day I will be around. Next weekend I will also be having a very close look at a player I am very interested in bringing to the Millers so it will be interesting to see if I am as keen next Saturday evening.

Hopefully at the end of this two week break we will have a number of players either back available or at the very least very close to being back. Our squad is light in numbers at present but when the likes of Kirk Broadfoot, Richard Wood, Mark Bradley, Rob Milsom and Conor Newton return it makes competition for a starting shirt much stronger and we need that in what is a fearsome league. However it has to be said a couple of these lads may have to go out on loan to get some much needed match time but that will not be a problem as a number of managers in League One and Two have already asked about them on a regular basis.

You have just said you are on a player scouting mission next weekend, are we likely to be adding to our squad after the International break?

The plan has always been to add to the group but it goes without saying we only want to add players that can make a difference and improve on what we have. For us it is not about trying to compete financially with clubs in The Championship, in simple terms we can't and won't but for us it is about getting value for money when we sign any players.

The squad is sure to evolve over the season, it did in League Two, it did again in League One. As the manager I get tremendous support from my Chairman Tony Stewart and in turn I, like all my staff and players, give him everything in return. Rotherham United is a group of very committed individuals, the Chairman, staff, players, supporters; we really are all one with the same common goal. We are enjoying this challenge in The Championship; it really is great to be part of.

We are 11 matches into the season, what are your thoughts on how we have acquitted ourselves to life in The Championship, are you satisfied?

If I could use a word it would be frustrated. There is no doubt given our performances we should have a few more points on the board but it is a very unforgiving league. I am watching on now as some of our top players from last season are getting to grips with their individual form this season, it was always only going to be a question of time but those lads like every one of the players knows the team here gets picked on form now, last season was fantastic but it is history.

We have played 11 matches and six of those away from home. I look at The Championship league table this morning and I look in detail at who we have played, we have played six out of the top eight! I really do get the feeling we are now up and running and our new players from the summer are now settled and aware of what it is we want exactly. We have a fantastic team spirit in the group, the lads love coming to work and that is essential if we are to get the best out of them.

Finally, our return to Championship action in just under two weeks will see us host Leeds United at New York in front of the live Sky Television cameras, another great occasion?

It is certainly a great game to look forward to. Last week we entertained Blackburn Rovers, former Premier League champions, and next up for us is the great Leeds United. When I grew up in Glasgow you did not know much about football in England but everyone knew about Leeds United, who as a Scotsman can ever forget wee Billy Bremner.

They are a huge club with a fantastic support, they also now have an excellent team under a new owner who to me has invested millions and is very passionate.

We need to build on the draw yesterday and of course the excellent win over Blackburn Rovers, it will be another tough match but my lads are capable if we can produce another top class performance.


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