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READ | Barker's pre-Peterborough United press highlights

22 January 2020

Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the trip to Peterborough United on Saturday in Sky Bet League One...

Barker spoke about the the current belief in the squad, the impact of Chieo Ogbene, the backing of the Millers supporters and the upcoming test at London Road, as well as giving the lowdown on the latest team news from the training ground.

Full video content available HERE on iFollow Millers…

Barker on Bristol Rovers win...

"Who wouldn't have taken a 3-0 home win? First half was a little bit frustrating from many points of view, but partly from our own because we knew we weren't playing as well as we could do.

"We knew if we could just up it a gear or two then we'd be fine. That isn't being disrespectful to anybody, we are just in a good place at the moment.

"Thankfully the lads did what we talked about at half time and that is the beauty of being able to change things at the break."

 

Barker on whether being top of the table has any bearing on belief in squad...

"I think they are so confident at the minute that they probably just think that someone is going to create something out of nothing.

"We need to make sure that doesn't happen because before you know it all 10 players are thinking the others are going to create something and everyone is still looking around to find out who it is going to be.

"It wasn't a bad half by the way, we did okay, but by our own recent standards it was probably one of the worst halves of football we've had. It's going to happen."

 

Barker on Chiedozie Ogbene form...

"He has obviously played a big part. He's finally getting the message of what we want him to do. 

"Again, he was part of the frustration of the first half really, in that, he wasn't doing what we'd asked him to do. That's understandable, he's a young man in his first season really in full time first team football as are quite a large number of the lads that we've been talking about over the last few weeks.

"He had a dip for half an hour but obviously regained it in the second half and was rewarded with his first league goal and two assists, so you can't get better than that in a half of football.

 

Barker on having pace in the team...

"Part of what we were trying to explain to Chiedozie Ogbene was how hard dealing with pace can be. He was over-complicating it and making it easier for defenders who were playing against him.

"We make no bones about it, you have to be able to run to play for Rotherham United. That is both ways, forward and back. If you don't then you don't play. They get rewarded for that. It took Chieo a while and Haks is now buying into it a little bit. All we expect here is for everyone to give 100% for the team, for their mates and for the football club."

 

Barker on fans selling out at Lincoln and a big crowd going to Peterborough...

"It's brilliant. I saw a couple of weeks ago, I think it was the Oxford game, that we'd got the second highest following in the division, only behind Bolton who went 10 minutes down the road to Rochdale.

"Our journey certainly wasn't 10 minutes down the road. The away fans, certainly since I came here, have always been excellent. They've always turned out in numbers and I look back to the Burton game earlier in the season when we pretty much sold it out.

"The Lincoln game on the Friday night is something we'll all look forward to.

"It is no coincidence I don't think that we have the best away record in the league because when you're backed by that many fans turning up it makes a difference.

 

Barker on his own personal thanks for supporters...

"They were fantastic in the Oxford game and obviously from my own personal point of view, just briefly, to thank every one of the 1,000 or so that turned up for helping me through that game, through my tough times. At the end, it is something that will stay with me for a long time. 

 

Barker on team news ahead of Peterborough United clash...

"There was a few sore bodies yesterday. The pitches at the moment are a bit sapping. We're having to calm down the training a little bit.

"We had a few knocks and bruises yesterday. We didn't train on the Monday but I think if we had, we'd have been looking at about six players. 

"One or two missed out on training today [Tuesday] as well but at this stage of the season, having played as many games as we have done, that isn't a major issue. There are other things they can be working on and we'll take stock again on Thursday but we're all aware that it is a bit of a head count."

 

Barker on Clark Robertson injury...

"He's going in the right direction that's the most important thing. It is easy when you see someone like Robbo running four or five days after an operation to think, 'he'll be back pretty soon' but there's a long way to go.

"He's had some fairly major surgery on his stomach. It is a pretty big thing.

"There will be boxes to tick, the last thing we need is to get to April or March or wherever and have a problem again.It is on the timescale that we talked about."

 

Barker on Mattock's back problem...

"He's done some running as well today. We're hoping he'll take part in some kind of training before the end of the week. Along with Billy and Thommo, who has started training today but is still suspended, we could be looking at two or three weeks before having a decent back eight. 

"At the minute Wilesy has stepped in and done really well. He doesn't complicate it, he just gets on with it but we'll be pleased to have Joe back."

 

Barker on Peterborough United test...

"In fairness, I think when we played them, they were above us. It just shows you how different runs can change the league table. I am sure that they will have had an eye on the game coming up thinking 'we need to get our own back'. 

"That is understandable because it would be the same for us as well. 

"They have some very good players.

"We watched them on Tuesday night and we've tried to get as much information as we can and then we'll go and try and do the best that we can on the road on Saturday, in front of a good following.

"You know what you're going to get, all technically gifted players and they can all play. They like to have possession. They have two of the top scorers in the league. There's going to be goals one way or the other, so hopefully they're in the right end.


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