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Plenty of positives to take, says Stubbs

23 July 2016

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Alan Stubbs post Sunderland...

Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs took several positives from his side’s narrow 2-1 defeat to Premier League Sunderland at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Stubbs’ maiden home outing as Millers boss also saw fans get a first glimpse of new signings Anthony Forde and Jake Forster-Caskey, while second year professional Jerry Yates stole the show with an impressive performance that was capped with a goal.

The Millers slipped behind to their top tier opposition when Fabio Borini lashed an effort beyond Lee Camp before Yates levelled the scores but Charles N’Zogbia won it for the visitors with a late strike.

“I thought we started the game well and we started the second half well,” Stubbs told

“I thought there were a lot of positives in the game.

“The way that we want the team to play is starting to take shape. The players are starting to believe in themselves and I thought we were very good at times.”

Stubbs’ side employed a passing approach to the game against the Black Cats and enjoyed large spells of possession on a sunny afternoon at AESSEAL New York Stadium and the Millers boss was pleased with how they executed his orders.

“First of all we want the players to be brave and get on the ball. The most important thing is that they believe that they can do it,” he added.

“I’ll certainly give them the belief because in football you have to trust yourself and be brave.

“Sometimes it will need a little bit of time to work on but I said to the players today that’s the best we’ve played since I’ve come here.

“We have had a lion’s share of the game in terms of possession and we’re getting sharper and sharper and I’m happy where we are right now.”

The Millers boss added that the outing against Sunderland allowed for him to get minutes into a number of his first team players but is still keen to add to his squad.

“We’re starting to get what we want into the players and we still not that we need a few more players in,” Stubbs explained.

“We need to get the strength in depth into the squad and we are looking to do that and hopefully that’ll be sooner rather than later.

“I am happy with what I’ve got right now but we are looking to add.”

Meanwhile, Stubbs explained that the withdrawal of first team duo Joe Mattock and Greg Halford was only precautionary with the opening game of the Sky Bet Championship season against Wolves appearing on the horizon.

“I think Joe’s is just a bang on the side of his knee and Greg is just feeling a little bit tight in his groin area.

“We’re hoping it isn’t going to be anything too serious and it was more precautionary than anything when we took them off."

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