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READ | Barker's pre-Tranmere press highlights

30 August 2019

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Richie Barker speaks to iFollow Millers ahead of the Sky Bet League One clash against Tranmere Rovers...

Rotherham United's assistant manager was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the fixture against the Whites, and he spoke about regaining after an enforced break, injury updates and an insight into our latest recruit...

Barker on an intense week for the squad

"We only had three days off during that time, but it does make a bit of a difference, hence why we picked the team that we did against Sheffield Wednesday - it was important that we got the lads back firing again.

"We had two good days of training before that game, and that was the advantage of having it on a Wednesday night. The players have had plenty of work put into them this week, so it's been a positive one."
Barker on the injury list and Julien Lamy's progress
"Matt Olosunde came off during Wednesday's game nursing a couple of issues with his calf and Matt Crooks got a knock on his ankle, so they've been assessed over the last couple of days.
"Joe Mattock picked up that rib injury a few weeks ago and he's almost through that now. Even up until last week, any little knock for him was sore which isn't ideal from a defensive point of view if he's always trying to protect it.
"He's 100 per cent fit now and mentally he feels as if he's able to make challenges again and go through the pain barrier, so it's nice to get him back.
"It's been a really tough time for Julien too who came in and then didn't even make it through his first friendly unfortunately. Due to a few further complications the injury has dragged on a bit longer than we were hoping, but he's worked hard and he's now out there on the grass."
Barker on the signing of Chiedozie Ogbene and his first day in training
"He's exactly what we thought he would be; bundles of pace, plenty of enthusiasm and a real want to do well. There's no doubt that he came for the right reasons, myself and Paul Warne met up with him and had a good chat for a few hours where he said all of the right things.
"Chieo is desperate to impress and be a part of what we're doing. He was very complimentary to the club, the squad and the stuff he's seen over the last couple of years.
"We want him to hit the ground running, but he's a young man who hasn't played a lot of league football, so hopefully he's someone who we can help develop.
"He definitely gives us another dimension and another option in the front line."
Barker on the test that Tranmere will pose

"They'll have some motivated players that will get opportunities. I watched their game against Portsmouth a few weeks ago and I thought they were excellent in the first half.

"What they have got is terrific momentum off the back of two promotions, and I know Micky Mellon will leave no stone unturned so they will be very well organised.

"They'll know everything they need to about us, and then you add in the fact that Darren Potter will be coming back to his previous club. He will be motivated to do his best if he plays, so it's a difficult game.

"Darren is somebody that I've worked with for about five years all-in-all with MK Dons and then bringing him here. It's a shame it didn't quite work out for him here, but he played a big part in the first 15 games or so in that promotion season.

"He was a popular member of the group, and Ben Wiles is buzzing because he'll be playing against his hero on Saturday. Ben speaks really highly of him as someone who influenced him in coming through the system."


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