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Interviews

READ | Hamshaw's pre-Morecambe press highlights

21 February 2022

Rotherham United first team/development coach Matt Hamshaw faced the local media ahead of Tuesday night’s hosting of Morecambe in Sky Bet League One at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The Rotherham-born coach discussed a number of topics, reflecting on the draw with second-placed Wigan Athletic, talking about Ollie Rathbone and the impact he’s made since joining and the set piece routine that won the game at Hillsborough.

You can read all of the key points from the interview in our press highlights, HERE.

 

Hamshaw on draw with Wigan Athletic...

"I thought it was a really good entertaining game. I thought you could feel a bit of tension in the stadium with it being first against second.

"First half, I didn't think we got into gear as much as we usually do but that's taking nothing away from Wigan, who I think are a good side with good players.

"In the second, we played with a little bit more freedom and a little bit more like us.

"I think we deserved our goal and if anything, I thought we might nick another, although I'm sure Wigan will say the same."

 

Hamshaw on Ollie Rathbone and the impact he's had since his summer signing...

"He's been excellent.

"I think it's hard to sometimes come into our group and hit the ground running like he has.

"We've seen with a number of players that we've signed in the summer - through no fault of their own - that we put requirements and difficult things on them, which means that it tends to take a little bit of time for new signings to bed in.

"I think from Minute One Ollie has done that. He's done really well this season, in what is probably the hardest position to get into in our team.

"He took his goal really well the other night and I've heard there were a few people saying "don't shoot" but I do think that's something we can improve on - goals from outside the box."

 

Hamshaw on how he feels the promotion race is shaping up...

"I think there are still plenty of games and there are teams that can come on the outside rail and there always is.

"We've got a tough run-in with a lot of top half teams still to play.

"We want to be right up there come the end of the season, but there will be a lot of other teams thinking the same.

"If we were in this position with three or four games left, we might get a little bit more carried away but the fact that we've got this number of games left and teams have got to play each other, means that it is never straight forward."

 

Hamshaw on whether the current group has a 'unique spirit'...

"I think there is definitely, but I also think there has been in every squad that we've put together.

"I think the one thing the Gaffer talks about is good people. When you're winning games it's great and when you're losing them people aren't as bothered.

"I don't understand the argument against working with good people. Everybody in this building is.

"We try our best and work as hard as we can do and I think the thing that we probably have more of this year than previous ones is that we can play any style of football. If somebody wants to have an on-field fight with us, we'll have it, if somebody wants to play, we can play. 

"We have different aspects of this team that can meet those requirements, whereas probably in years gone past, we possibly did like a bit more of a scrap, but these lot can play and sometimes don't get credit for that."

 

Hamshaw on how much he'd like the Millers to win the league if they could...

"I just think that you have a long career as a player and a coach and to win a league takes a lot of doing - no matter who you are or what league it is.

"Do we want to go up? 100%. If you could guarantee me that we would go up in the Play-offs like we did last time I would snap your hand off for it, however, I do agree, there is something special about trying to win a league.

"At the start of the season that was our aim. We believed we had the tools to do it and we believed that we could achieve it as a group of staff.

"However, would we have put ourselves in the position that we are at this stage of the season? Arguably not.

"The fact we are is full credit to the staff and the players involved. It is everybody together."

 

Hamshaw on whether people had come up to him crediting him for the corner routine at Sheffield Wednesday...

"Quite a number, to be honest!

"We aren't like that here though - I know the Gaffer mentions me but there's a lot that goes into it, there's myself, Richie, Andy and the Gaffer.

"We all sit in a room and conflab on the their areas of strength and weakness are.

"We highlight set pieces a lot in the seasons we've been here. I banged the drum at Hillsborough about how important they were going to be and we scored two of them.

"I think in tight games it can be won on a set piece and we know that it's an area that's a strength of ours."

 

Hamshaw on Morecambe...

"It will be tough, first and foremost.

"I think you've only got to look at their results - although I know they're having a little bit of a bad run at the minute.

"We've got huge respect for Stephen Robinson and the players they've got. Cole Stockton has been a massive threat for them, Diagouraga has had a good career and a lot goes through him.

"We ended up winning 1-0 up there but it was tough. A wind-assisted goal by Smudge did it.

"There's been a lot of teams played them and struggled against them and they do like to play football."

 

Hamshaw on team news...

"Joe Mattock was just a little bit tight from training that's all. 

"It's nothing serious at all for him. It was a knock in training and he can come back into the squad.

"Fingers crossed REG is going to start this week, but we won't rush him back.

"There is no point rushing him to then lose him again for a few weeks.

"I'd expect to see him next Tuesday or Saturday being a part of it."


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