Nicky Eaden speaks to www.themillers.co.uk...Rotherham United first team coach Nicky Eaden was pleased with his reserve side after they completed a comeback to record a 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the Final Third Development League.
The Millers fell behind to an early Liam Mandeville goal before strikes from Andrew Shinnie and Chris Burke either side of half time saw a mixed side come from behind at Roundwood on Wednesday.
First team manager Neil Warnock watched on from the sidelines, but it was Eaden who marshalled the team from the dugout and the former Leicester City coach was happy with his side’s showing.
“It was a decent performance. It was quite a tight first half and we had a few young lads in and they showed plenty of enthusiasm and legs but we had a fairly strong team out overall,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“You still have to go out and win the game and make sure you do the basics well.
“The goal was a bit disappointing because after a silly foul we switched off and they scored with a quick free kick, but other than that, I thought we had the best chances and the bulk of the play as well.”
Experienced professionals including Burke and Shinnie were amongst the ranks for the second string outing against Rovers and both registered on the scoresheet and Eaden insists he was impressed with their mature showings in a side containing a lot of Millers youngsters.
“Those two lads have shown a great attitude and they’re the type that if you offered them an hour, they’d say they want to do the 90,” he explained.
“They’re really good pros and they give you that quality as well.
“What you have to say to the experienced lads is, don’t make it easy for the manager. You want to give him a problem, not in a bad way, but you want to give him a selection headache because you’ve impressed him so much that he wants to pick you.”
With the first team recording a staggering run of results in recent weeks, Eaden believes the mood has spread throughout the Millers camp and believes the players on the fringes are even more keen than usual to break into a successful side.
“The positivity around the place is something that spreads around the club and I noticed that at Leicester too,” he enthused.
“Everyone had a positive attitude and with the first team doing well the other teams come along with that and you get players wanting to be involved. They should be anyway, but it’s a lot better to be a part of a team that’s being successful.”
The former Leicester City coach also reserved special praise for youngsters Darnelle Bailey-King and Kuda Muskwe who played starring roles in the victory on Wednesday and believes their involvement with members of the first team in the coming weeks will further aid their development.
“It’s the first time I’ve really seen Kuda play. He’s a big lad and you know his game,” Eaden added.
“He works really hard and covers the ground well and at youth team level he’s scored a lot, so he’s got a goal in him. You can see he wants to score.
“With Darnelle you just want to see end product from him. He’s a winger so he has to produce crosses, which I thought second half he did a lot better.
“I think it helps when the game opens up a little bit like it did. They’ve got to start learning the game now and quickly and they’ll be getting moved up to the first team squad to get regular training with us on a regular basis which will only help them.
“The biggest benefit they get is from training with first team players, day-in day-out. It ups the bar and they have to up their standards or they fall away. It can only help them and hopefully they can kick on and keep improving."