Les Payne gives his thoughts on the Millers' new manager...The appointment of Neil Redfearn as the new manager of Rotherham United has been praised by long serving journalist, Les Payne who can see shades of past managers in the ex-Leeds coach.
This is Neil Redfearn’s biggest managerial challenge to date following a number of years working at Elland Road as their academy coach before taking charge of the first on a short term basis.
Previously Redfearn has also managed at FC Halifax Town, Scarborough, Northwich Victoria and York City but he has taken a massive step up to take charge of the Millers in the Championship.
Despite being short on managerial experience Les Payne, who worked for 45 years covering Rotherham for the Sheffield Star, believes the Dewsbury born coach has the potential to be a successful appointment.
“I think that it is an interesting appointment,” Payne began to explain. “He quite clearly did a good job at Leeds United as he handled a difficult situation with dignity and he got a lot of praise.
“He’s relatively young and he’ll be looking to bring what he has learnt from Leeds to Rotherham United.”
Ian Porterfield, who took the Millers up from the Third Division in 1981 has been likened to Redfearn. This was his first managerial position after ending his career with Sheffield Wednesday in 1979 and Payne can see some similarities with him as well as a few other past United bosses.
“Across the years we have had some understated managers. Ian Porterfield came in as an unknown and a novice but he did a brilliant job. Jimmy McGuigan was fairly quiet and not too dissimilar. Billy McEwan was a fantastic coach and Phil Henson was also a quiet guy and he had success with promotion.”
Redfearn played for 26 years as a player at numerous clubs mainly situated around Yorkshire and over that time worked with a number of different coaches which Payne believes is a great advantage.
“I saw Neil play many times as a player and he was a fine player who had a long career and he has worked under many managers and he would have learnt how to handle players and how to handle situations.”
During his time at Leeds, Redfearn helped to nurture players such as Sam Byram, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, just to name a few, who are now regulars in the first team.
Rotherham United chairman, Tony Stewart is aiming to push more home grown talented youngsters into the team and Redfearn’s experience can help to achieve that.
“The fact that he has worked with young players for quite a while is important because a lot of people agree that after the manager the most important person at a football club is the academy coach because they’re constantly developing players.
“Rotherham want to go down that route and Neil has worked with some of the current first team who have already developed and he’ll be able to help younger players move on and break into the team.”
The new Millers boss will take charge of his first game this weekend away at Brentford and he will make his home debut on Tuesday 20th October against Reading where season ticket holders can bring a friend for just £5.