Steve Evans going monthly...
In follow up to last season's very successful "Gaffer on a Sunday" feature, this season we will catch up with the Boss on a monthly basis as we put to him a number of questions that will enlighten us into what is really happening in the world of the man who is leading the Millers journey. For this September edition, we begin with the closing of the transfer window.
Q - The summer transfer window for permanent signings has now been slammed shut, are you happy with the business done?
For me the transfer window opened the day after our fantastic play-off victory at Wembley and closed last Monday evening. We are all pleased with the business we have done. Retaining the players we wanted here from last season was essential, that has been done, with the exception being young Kieran Agard for whom we received a top transfer fee for, this represented great business for Rotherham United.
Our business during the summer was good but we always felt we needed to add another striker or two. The fact is we made moves for a number of big names who got moves elsewhere on Deadline Day, but unfortunately we secured none of them. The likes of Lloyd Dyer and Louis McGugan at Watford were also on my radar but we respected the right of there club to say no thank you. I wanted to add to the strikers we had at the Millers and my first choice for a striker was Luciano Becchio at Norwich; he is was a player we have always admired but I thought our chances of landing him would have been slim, thankfully we got him here. Another young man we have signed for a club transfer record is striker, Johnson Clarke-Harris from Oldham. He has the most fantastic potential for one being so young but believe me he is ready now for Championship football, our supporters will take to this young man.
Michael Tidser has gone to Oldham on loan and a couple of others might need to go out and play some first team football too. Our squad is in great shape, fresh after the International break and now we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Q - It has been reported that we made a bid in excess of £1 Million for a player in the lead up to the closing of the transfer deadline and that may be revisited soon, can you enlighten us any further?
Let me be very clear, I am giving no clues as to who the player is, not his position, not the club he plays for, not the league the lad plays in but yes I can confirm that such a bid was made.
It may be something we look at again but I need to chat to my Chairman Tony Stewart and consider what we want to do going forward. The Chairman has again been absolutely brilliant and he tries to support me with players when I ask the question. He knows how much analysis and thought goes into our management strategy, it is undoubtedly a partnership that works.
Q - The players have enjoyed some time off during the International break, when are they back in training?
Not all the players got more than a couple of days. Those that have had a lot of match time have had a nice well deserved break, others with less match time or injured have been in. Every player is back in tomorrow, they will be fresh, the banter will be flying and they will work hard to get ready for two tough away matches at AFC Bournemouth and Bolton Wanderers respectively.
On Tuesday we will be having a closed door training ground match and those in need of some minutes on the pitch will get some, the others will train as normal.
Q - Did you or the staff manage to get some time off?
For Paul Warne and myself sadly not. Paul Raynor and Andy Dibble got a few days but like the players, the staff also need to be freshened up. I also took the opportunity to watch a few matches and on Saturday I was left in no doubt the gap between the Championship and League One is there for all to see.
Q - It is all very early but how do you think the start of the season has gone for us?
The Championship is a fantastic league, great clubs, stadiums and players. The standards needed to win matches are way up on last season but we expected that.
Our performances in the main have been excellent, we really have played some outstanding football but it would be fair to say we have not taken the chances created. I have every confidence that will happen if we continue to play as we have been. I am far too experienced to not believe that if your team is dominating matches you won't win matches, we had it in League Two then League One and now we have it in the Championship.
Q - Can you update us on the current injury situation?
We will know much more in the next few days when some lads are introduced back into training. Paul Green, Fraser Richardson, Ryan Hall, Lee Frecklington, Rob Milsom and Craig Morgan are all big players for us so we need them available for selection if possible, I am hopeful we will have some of them available for Saturday. Just look at the quality we have not had available to us recently.
Q - Any message to the Millers support?
Yes, please keep up the fantastic support both home and away. Our supporters know how tough our challenge is but they are embracing the level of football we have climbed to and are enjoying it as much as we are.
Our support at home, the noise levels are incredible, it is awesome and we need more of that as you really do make a difference, Thank you.