Richie Barker talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker says he is looking forward to the challenge of facing his former club this weekend, which comes with the added test of trying to outwit his previous boss Karl Robinson in the opposite dugout.
The Millers take on the Addicks in Sky Bet League One on Saturday and Barker admits that the prospect of the tactical battle against a manager and he team he expects to have a good campaign in 2017/18 is one he is relishing.
“They've got a very good manager that I enjoyed working with for three and a bit years and a good group of players, so they'll make it a tough afternoon for a few teams this year,” Barker told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I know a fair percentage of the players and I know Karl very well and knowing him, he'll expect me to know something and there will be a bit of a curveball.
“Funnily enough, my last game in charge with MK was against him and it was his first game in charge for Charlton. We both tried to outwit each other with a few curveballs and he will know what I'm thinking and vice-versa. We spent pretty much every day together for the last three years and I'm sure one of us will work it out correctly.”
The Sheffield-born coach continued to express that he believes Charlton are on an upward trajectory under the current regime and insists a return to the second tier is the least he expects for a club he remembers fondly.
“I'm sure they'll get back to where they should be, which is in my opinion minimum Championship football, and very quickly too"
“I think once the fans see the success on the pitch, I'm sure they'll buy into what's happening at the club and they'll start to come back and support a really successful team.”
The Millers’ assistant continued to admit that he still has a vested interest in all of the goings on at The Valley for personal reasons too, with his son having recently signed terms with the club’s Academy setup.
“My boy has just signed for their Under 15s, which we didn't time very well as he signed just as I'd left!”
“I had no hesitation in putting him in a top Academy, where they produce some top players and I'm sure he'll be looked after while he's there and that was another reason that it was difficult to leave.”