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Club News

READ | Barker's post-Easter video call highlights

15 April 2020

Club News

READ | Barker's post-Easter video call highlights

15 April 2020

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Rotherham United Assistant Manager Richie Barker joined us on Zoom for a video call on Tuesday afternoon to catch up on his working schedule over recent weeks.

Richie spoke about how he and the coaching staff have been utilising their time away from the training ground, discussing ongoing recruitment meetings and analysis before heaping praise on the NHS and the money raised by Millers fans in the auction for his shirt worn when scoring the winner at Sheffield Wednesday.

You can watch the video here.


Richie on jobs being undertaken whilst working from home...

"A big part of my role particularly is obviously the coaching, from a day-to-day point of view but another part of it is analysis.

"Whether that is analysing other players or opposition or how we can make our own players better and all of that can be done from home.

"Apart from the two or three hours where we're out on the grass everyday, the rest of my job is done from a desk.

"It's about staying in touch with Hammy, the other coaching staff, the manager and the recruitment team.

"Obviously all of that can still be done although it is slightly more difficult, so we're still doing normal days really.


Richie on what the coaching staff are currently analysing...

"It's odd really because the Southend game was called off the lunchtime the day before the game, so we had already got everything we needed to know about them.

"We'd already made progress on the clubs coming up as well.

"The difficulty will be when we actually get to the first game back, in finding out what has changed from their last game, because it could be the best part of two to three months.

"You're half-analysing a new team really. I'm sure there will be a few shocks and surprises and players are recovering from injuries.

"We're doing the best we can to be as organised as we can be, but I think on the first day I always find it strange to analyse because you're watching pre-season games, or games from last season and there are always a few shocks and surprises.


Richie on players' individual analysis work...

"They've predominantly been concentrating on the physical work for the last three to four weeks and that is another thing which we have managed to do - a few classes.

"That has been good to keep the team spirit going.

"We've also moved on to some technical and tactical aspects, as a team and as individuals.

"They have individual learning plans and part of that is to study elite players that play in their positions.

"We scrolled through the Premier League and tried to find players who would be relevant to individuals in not just the position they play, but the way they play and the system that we play in.

"They've been studying players, bringing that information back to us and trying to work out what they can take from that particular player's game.

"I'm not saying we're going to turn them into Premier League players over night, but if you're going to study somebody, why not study the best."


Richie on recruitment meetings...

"If I'm being totally honest, that has been one of the positives, that we have been more closely involved in watching players that are on the lists, that the recruitment lads have put to us.

"Usually, the list is probably a little bit smaller and they'll come back and say 'we've narrowed it down to this three or four' and we'll have meetings but I think between us - myself, Paul [Warne] and Hammy - last week we watched 50 or 60 players.

"On a normal weekly basis, particularly when we have two games in a week, recruitment is difficult for us to get involved in, apart from just sifting through reports.

"Under normal circumstances, we couldn't watch 50 or 60 players between the three of us. 

"When we get to the end of the week, we cut those players down again and hopefully start a new list.

"The biggest issue is that we have no idea what recruitment will look like when we come out of this. We don't know when the window will open or when it will close. Finances will totally different at the other side.

"All we can do is the best we can and be as organised as possible."


Richie on whether he has been able to continue to plot set pieces from home...

"We have been working on a little set piece analysis.

"We've looked at what has been successful for us both defending and attacking, so hopefully we'll have a little bit more information.

"I think the positive that we can take so far is that we are at the top of the set piece table in our division but that doesn't mean we should just accept that.

"We are the top of the set piece table but we want to make sure that gap stays big and we want to make sure we win more games off defending set pieces properly.

"We know that there are some big games coming up and it could be the small details that play a big part in it."


Richie on charity auction on his shirt donated by Rob Harrison, which raised £900 for the NHS thanks to Raymond Senior's winning bid...

"I think firstly we have to acknowledge the great work that is being done by everyone in the NHS.

"Myself and my family make sure we are a part of the applause every Thursday evening at 8pm.

"I can't thank those people highly enough. They have been absolutely amazing. Everything they do and putting their lives at risk every day they go to work.

"I want to say a massive thank you, firstly, to somebody who paid money for that shirt to be able to give it up, and secondly, for someone to put in a bid of that amount.

"If I played a small part in that, then I'm really pleased to have done so.

"I once was at a charity dinner where a [Lionel] Messi shirt went for £1,000 so I think I can pretty much claim that my shirt is nearly as expensive as his!

"I'm not quite there, but I don't think there are as many of mine knocking about, I think we only used to get one a season!"

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