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Match Reports

We could have won it, says Evans

12 September 2015

Steve Evans post Charlton Athletic...

Rotherham United boss Steve Evans felt his side were deserving of all three points after they took a share of the spoils from their 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

The Millers handed debuts to Lee Camp, Tony Andreu and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and took the lead in the capital when Farrend Rawson, who was also making his first appearance in Rotherham colours in the 2015/16 season, stole in at the back post to stab the visitors ahead.

Evans was left pleased following his side’s draw but admitted had it not been for the heroics of Nick Pope in the Addicks’ goal they could quite easily have left The Valley having recorded maximum points.

“I think we were good for three and the goalkeepers have made two unbelievable saves. Lee Camp has had good tidy saves that you’d expect him to make,” he explained.

“Their goalkeeper has made a save from Tony Andreu where I think he should score but credit to him for adjusting and getting down to it.

“We think Chris Maguire has put us in front with a terrific strike too but we didn’t think for a minute that we couldn’t come and win this game with the strength that we’ve got in the squad when everyone is available with the two or three lads that we’ve added.”

The Millers missed a golden opportunity to double their advantage when Andreu was thwarted by Pope from close range and were dealt a blow when Patrick Bauer levelled in the second half and Evans believed a second goal would have seen off the challenge of the hosts.

“I think at 2-0 it was game over. They’d pretty much run out of ideas. Their goal was a bad goal defensively and it comes from a third phase. Young Faz scuffs the first phase and that’s disappointing but the young man is still learning and he was hanging on for the last 15 minutes. 

“I said our season starts at Charlton because I believed the personnel starts the season. We made numerous attempts to sign Lee Camp in the summer and you can see what he brings to us. When we saw the chink of light to do the deal we were doing it.” 

Evans was also impressed by the Norwich City duo and insists that they will get better as a result of first-team action with the Millers.

“We brought Tony and Vadis in and we can run them up hills and up and down the training ground but there’s nothing beats the heat of the battle and I thought both gave us something today but both will be a lot fitter next time we play,” he enthused.

“I think Tony needs to get sharper on the ball and I think that will come with games but you see what he does with the header where he gets into the box. If you put it in there with some quality Tony Andreu will get in there and get on the end of things. 

“I think if you look at two or three of the runs that Vadis made in the first half you can see he’s just a special talent. We’re getting him match fit. Both boys are incredibly fit but there’s a massive difference between fit and match fit.”

Newly-appointed skipper Lee Frecklington was withdrawn in the second half after sustaining an injury but Evans is not concerned about his influence in the dressing room even if he is absent from the action.

“He was just feeling his calf and it tightened up to the point that it was really sore. We won’t know until he sees the medical team tomorrow and it may be a scan. 

“We picked Lee to be our captain and we sat him down and reminded him that to be captain at this football club doesn’t mean you play every week. If he deserves to play he’ll play, but we wanted our captain in the dressing room home or away, playing or not that typified what this management team is about and that’s what Lee Frecklington does."

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