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Interviews

READ | Hamshaw's pre-Portsmouth press highlights

11 April 2022

Rotherham United first team/development coach Matt Hamshaw was on press duties on Monday morning to speak to the local media ahead of a long midweek trip down to Portsmouth in Sky Bet League One.

Following Saturday's defeat to Charlton Athletic, Hamshaw reviewed the club's progress so far in Sky Bet League One as the Millers focus on their final six games, whilst providing an update on team news ahead of the trip to Fratton Park.

In a reflective interview, the Rotherham-born coach spoke about the culture at the club, loving what he does for work and putting every sinue of effort into each and every day in an attempt to try to get the Millers promoted back to the Sky Bet Championship.

 

Hamshaw on whether there are any fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Portsmouth...

"Not that we're aware of.

"Everybody has come through it okay. After Wembley and then Saturday, touch wood, everyone who we spoke to afterwards was okay."

 

Hamshaw on where he felt the game was lost on Saturday against Charlton...

"Without being too obvious, goals.

"I think we were the better team for the majority of the game without taking the chances that we created and then Charlton scored - a well-worked goal to be fair - and even then, we kind of huffed and puffed without that little bit of magic or quality that we usually have.

"We were in yesterday and we spoke to the players about it. They're fully aware.

"If you watch the game back, the performance was actually really good, it was just that last little bit that was missing."

 

Hamshaw on putting a finger on why the Millers struggled to test the goalkeeper at the weekend...

"If I'm being competely honest, I'm not too sure.

"If you see the lads around the training ground, the finishing has been excellent and I think when you're talking about this, people think you're just talking about strikers.

"Your strikers, midfielders, wide players and even defenders from set pieces didn't make enough first contacts from corners - which was disappointing.

"There were a lot of little instances that did or didn't go our way, but I'm fully confident that if we get an opportunity tomorrow night, we'll take it."

 

Hamshaw on understanding everyone's frustrations in recent weeks, but reaffirming that the target still very much remains automatic promotion...

"I think if you'd said to us at the beginning of this season come April that we'd be in this position, we'd have all taken it.

"However, we still understand people's frustrations and we are the same in that we want to get over the line as quickly as we can.

"We have all been in football for long enough to know that it never happens like that.

"There are still six games to play and we'll be fully-focused and ready for them all."

 

Hamshaw on how the lads are faring fitness-wise in a congested league schedule and on the back of 120 minutes at Wembley...

"I think they've got loads left in the tank if you're asking physically.

"I think sometimes mentally it can be tough. It is tough as staff, it is tough as supporters and it is tough for players.

"We're all human beings and nobody is a robot.

"Everybody understands the emotions that get involved in football and everyone knows what is on the line.

"I think physically the lads are good. Mentally, I don't think they've been used to losing football matches, so you take it tough, but that is no different to anybody else. As I keep reiterating, there are six games left and we have a hell of a lot to play for.

"We have a cup that we've won already locked away ready to hopefully celebrate come the end of the season and we want to make sure that we've got something to add at the side of that."

 

Hamshaw on what you can work on as a coach at this point of the season...

"If I told you everything, I'd probably bore you!

"You always see aspects of players' play that you can work on and you always have to do analysis of the opposition and you're always watching to try and find new things.

"There's a multitude of things that go into it and it could be that a player wants to do a little bit of finishing for example and he wants to go away and work on that.

"You can never stop working and you can never stop getting better and that is something that we pride ourselves on at this football club."

 

Hamshaw on Portsmouth and how important the current away record will be ahead of another big game...

"It's an unbelievable achievement and when you say it, it makes you realise just how impressive it has been.

"I think that if you think about what the players and staff have done here - and I'm not just talking about this season - I'm talking about in English football history, I think we have conceded the least goals away from home.

"The fact that we have achieved something that nobody ever has done is unbelievable and that is full credit to the players and staff, but it is something that we want to carry on until the end of this season. If we do that, we give ourselves a great opportunity to win football matches."

 

Hamshaw on reminding the players how important a win on Tuesday could be to the side's success this season...

"We have some unbelievable games to come. We've got to go to Sunderland, we've got Ipswich at home which is always a big game and we've got Portsmouth away.

"What more do you want? You're a professional footballer and you're going to be playing in good stadiums with good crowds with something to play for.

"As a player you want to be at the top end of the league and you want to be challenging.

"Training at this point becomes a little bit like "I just want to play games".

"Our players are chomping at the bit to achieve something."


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