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READ | Barker's pre-Coventry City press highlights

3 October 2019

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

Barker spoke to the club about the reaction on the training ground to last weekend's loss at Bristol Rovers, the return of competition in the right back position and the challenge of facing ex-teammate Mark Robins' Coventry City side this weekend.

Full video content available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers…

Barker on how the squad have responded to the defeat at Bristol Rovers...

"We definitely needed to be more creative, but more ruthless as well. Actually there were a couple of half decent chances that whizzed across the six yard box.

"We did quite a lot of final third work on Tuesday and again we'll be readdressing that in training today and tomorrow.

"I think we're all aware that it wasn't really 'us' at Bristol Rovers, but goals change games and I think if we'd scored the first goal in the first half then the game definitely could have been different."

Barker on players' response to feedback this week...

"It has been good both in training and in terms of open forums in meetings that we've had.

"That is equally important that the players hold their hands up and accept that when they watch it back or see something that has happened that they are aware of the mistakes that they have made.

"The lads have been receptive to it and they are an honest group who are willing to take responsibility when they make mistakes."

Barker on the battle for the right back berth between Billy Jones and Matt Olosunde...

"I think this is the only time so far this season that they've both been fit and I think that has happened in more than one position.

"We've had Trev come in and not be fit, Adam Thompson has not been able to put pressure on Michael Ihiekwe and Chieo came in and did really well before dropping out.

"We've not had enough pressure on a few positions really, but hopefully when we do that will show.

"We took Billy off, although he had a sore thigh at the weekend, to change the shape a little bit and we asked Matt to do something a little bit different. We've also got that luxury now in that we can take one off and adjust the shape."

Barker on Trevor Clarke's rehabilitation...

"He's taking part in some of training today, albeit we have to be careful with him in terms of contact.

"Trev will be taking part in some of the session but we'll have to make him fairly passive which I'm sure will be difficult for him because he hasn't had that many sessions and he'll be desperate to show us what he can do.

"I think it will be a real boost for him for all the work that he's put in over the last few weeks and months to come out and kick a ball with the players."

Barker on Adam Thompson's injury...

"All his running is all fine, it is just the issue with the final part of the kicking the ball.

"Thommo can do all of the running but his issue comes with the ball work because any contact with his knee is calling him discomfort."

Barker on not using returning players in the reserve outing in midweek...

"It is a fine line because we want the boys back as quickly as we can, but we want them back as safely as we can as well. 

"If they've not ticked all the boxes and they go and play in a reserve game and end up with another injury we're worse off than we were before."

Barker on Mark Robins...

"We both obviously played with him the first time around here. 

"He is somebody that we have known for the best part of 20 years each. It is amazing the number of people out of that team that have ended up going on to become managers.

"Hursty is at Scunthorpe and Dave [Artell] at Crewe are just a couple to name. Mark must be 10 or 11 years into his managerial career now and he's in his second spell at Coventry.

"He knows what he wants out of the game and what he wants from his players and it is showing at the minute."

Barker on Coventry's early success this season...

"They're the top of the league for a reason. I think once you get 10 games in, if you're up there then you deserve to be.

"The fact that they are unbeaten shows a lot as well. They are a very young, athletic and technically gifted team.

"They move the ball about very well and we'll have to set ourselves out with a plan to get the ball back, but then when we get it, work on what we are going to do to hurt them."

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