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Blackwell confident bruises will heal quickly with winning feeling

8 March 2016

Kevin Blackwell speaks to

Rotherham United assistant manager Kevin Blackwell believes the club’s consecutive wins over Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday could help the healing process of members of the squad currently carrying knocks.

The Millers’ number two is hoping that the winning feeling at AESSEAL New York Stadium will prove to be the remedy for his players ahead of tonight’s Sky Bet Championship showdown with high-flying Middlesbrough.

“I think there’s no doubt that when you win games any bruises tend to heal rather quickly so we’re looking at hopefully having the strongest squad that we can have,” Blackwell told

“The next month will really see us try and get all those players up to match fitness and toughened up physically for the run in.”

Lee Frecklington was instrumental in the derby day victory over Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, completing 90 minutes in the Millers’ engine room, but Blackwell insists he is keen to take care of the energetic midfielder in the upcoming games.

“We have to look after Lee and that was always the gaffer’s concern,” he added.

“So many of the players hadn’t played for such a long time and then have had to go game after game and that is our concern. That might be a worry for the next two or three games.”

Meanwhile, the Millers assistant boss is hopeful of a return for experienced defender Lloyd Doyley and is pleased with the progress of other members of the squad.

“Hopefully Lloyd will be back in full training on Tuesday or Wednesday this week and really then it gives us a fully fit squad,” Blackwell explained.

“It’s about bringing them together with players like Jerome and Doyley. Greg hadn’t played very much and neither had Frecks  and we know we’re taking in five or six players that we’re saying, can we get them through the 90 minutes without pulling up and regressing.”

Blackwell has also been encouraged in recent weeks by the strength of the Millers bench and insists changing things from the sidelines will be pivotal in the Sky Bet Championship run in.

“What’s really pleasing now is that we can look to the bench now and it really looks like it can do something,” Blackwell enthused.

“None more so than if you look at what we did with Besty. We’re trying to nurture Besty through from all the injuries he’s had this year but he came on and was a real presence and created a terrific chance for Richie Smallwood.

“If you’re going to win games you’ve got to be able to look at your bench and be able to make that change. We certainly did that against Brentford when we brought [Danny Ward] Wardy on and he got the goal and the players on the bench will play a massive role in our fortunes."

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