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READ | Barker's pre-Gillingham press highlights

1 November 2019

Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the trip to Gillingham for this weekend's Sky Bet League One game.

Barker spoke to the club about the reaction to the defeat at home to Wycombe last weekend, the impact of Chieo Ogbene, an update on team news and the challenge of facing the Gills at Priestfield.

Full video content available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers…

Barker on Wycombe reflections…

“In terms of the week, we obviously started with the defeat against Oxford, then bounced back with an excellent victory at Ipswich but unfortunately didn't finish the week as we were hoping. We didn't get too high after the Ipswich game and we won't be getting too low after the last game and we'll be looking to put it right as quickly as we can. 

“We definitely weren't ourselves. We won't be making excuses but who knows, maybe the extra 24 hours they had over us and the away game at Ipswich may have just taken it's toll by even one or two percent.

“We weren't ourselves and we weren't as energetic in terms of our pressing or as efficient at getting the ball into wide areas and finishing with end products.”

Barker on Ogbene impact…

“He was positive and I'm sure since his substitute appearance against Tranmere the crowd have been looking forward to seeing him again. 

“It was pleasing to have him back and it gives us a different dimension. I thought he was a constant threat and he got us up the pitch. He was creative and arguably, forged the best chance of the game for Smudge.

“He is still learning about what we want from him so it won't come overnight but we'll try and get some training minutes into him.”

Barker’s pre-Gillingham injury update…

“Thommo has been training this week, so hopefully we can try and get some minutes into him in the next week or so. We're hopeful he can get through the next week or so in training without waking up the next morning and having any major issues. 

“I'm hoping that Clark Robertson may be training, if not by the end of the week, then by the start of next. That will obviously give us different options in the back four.

Barker on Shaun MacDonald’s illness…

“He was really ill about a week or 10 days ago. In fairness to Shaun, he hasn't got much weight to lose but lost a bit and has never really shaken it off.

“What we don't want is that spreading about. You can start picking up little injuries and other illnesses if you come back too soon, so we'll be taking our time with Shauny.”

Barker on long away trips on the horizon…

“We've got a few coming up haven't we? Gillingham at the weekend and then Maidenhead, who I went to watch play on Tuesday night.

“A few weeks after that we've got MK and Portsmouth coming up, so there will be plenty of time on the bus in the next few weeks. We have to make sure all of our preparation is done here before going on those journeys.”

Barker on Gillingham’s high scoring home record against the Millers’ tight defensive unit on the road…

Something has got to give you would assume. Our away form must be right up there in terms of League One, so we'll be going there with confidence but I'm sure after the recent results they've picked up at home, will mean it is a very difficult place to go.

“It is against a team that are riding high on the back of their win against Accrington last week, so they will be full of confidence as well and we're expecting a difficult game.”

Barker on League One progress so far and how he feels the Millers can be successful…

“They're all difficult, we've just played five of the top six in the last month, but it won't be getting any easier. 

“The table can change very quickly and it is about putting a run together. We spoke after the game the other day about putting longer runs together, whether that is unbeaten or even back-to-back wins and if you look how tight the league is, it shows if you do that you can end up half a dozen places up the league.”

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