Richie Barker talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Assistant manager Richie Barker says the first-team squad are all ready to step up their pre-season progress for the visit of Sheffield United this Friday (7.45pm).
The Millers split their first-team squad into two last night as boss Paul Warne lead a side to a 1-0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity, whilst Barker presided over a 2-0 success against Alfreton Town.
Goals from David Ball and Jon Taylor sealed victory at the Impact Arena for the Millers, as they maintained their 100% start to pre-season.
Now Barker is looking for the squad to step up another level for the visit of the Blades this Friday, stating that the vast majority of the players are ready for a 90 minute workout.
“What was really pleasing was that we came back from some extremely hard work out in Austria with all the players fit, and we have moved that on now with quite a few players getting 90 minutes,” he told www.themillers.co.uk
"It was a tough training session yesterday morning, probably a lot tougher than the players were expecting with a game in the evening. I thought that their work ethic was fantastic, their work rate and attitude was spot on in what can be a difficult place in pre-season against non-league opposition. I thought all the lads acquitted themselves really well.
"The positive thing for us is that all the players are getting minutes. Usually at this time you will have had someone who has been out for a week or 10 days or so. You are then thinking how you are going to top those minutes up. What's really pleasing is that we are going into the Sheffield United game with hopefully a clean bill of health from both games. They are all ready to play 90 minutes in an intense game now. It is a good place to be.”
Former Fleetwood striker Ball continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with a his fifth goal of pre-season, after a well taken finish from 20 yards.
One of several new faces that has impressed, Barker says that Ball has shown a terrific attitude to what the Millers on trying to implement.
"He has been excellent, he has scored in every game,” Barker added.
“That's a great position to be in as a centre-forward, we are really pleased with him. He has been excellent. His mentality has been spot on in pre-season. He has enjoyed it, he has come to the staff and told us that he has been really enjoying everything that we have done. His attitude has been first class so far.”