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Opposition View: Rotherham United

24 February 2017

Sheffield Star's Paul Davis on what to expect from The Millers tomorrow afternoon

Where do you start when trying to unpick this season from Rotherham's point of view?

There is no doubt it has been a season of woe. Neil Warnock performed a miracle last season to keep the team up but then took a long time to decide if he was going to stay. By the time he made his mind up, Rotherham were three weeks behind everyone else. The board said that they wanted to bring in a manager with Championship experience but they got so few suitable applicants that Alan Stubbs, someone with no Championship experience, was appointed. That turned out to be the defining mistake of the season. The task of recruitment was also handed to him and he brought in 12 players, the majority of which haven’t worked out. He went in October and was then replaced by Kenny Jackett. He was a fantastic appointment and popular with the fans because they thought that, even if they got relegated under Jackett, he would be the right man for next season. However, he came and went in five games and nobody has ever gone on record as saying what happened.

15 points from safety with time running out, has planning already started for next season?

Nobody from the club is publicly talking about relegation until it happens. They have recruited a new Head of Recruitment from Brighton and Hove Albion which is key as the process just wasn’t in place for the Championship. The planning for the summer is already underway. Even if the team does go down they want to go down with a bit of momentum in difficult circumstances which they can take into next season.

Paul Warne has done pretty much everything at the club, have the fans taken to him as manager?

Paul Warne is a club legend from his playing days. He has come in, steadied the ship, and made them much more competitive in recent weeks. It looks certain that Rotherham will be in League One next season but if he can keep them competitive until the end of the season he will be in with a shout of getting the job moving forward.

On the pitch who are the players to look out for tomorrow afternoon?

Isaiah Brown was one of the bright spots in the first-half of the season on loan from Chelsea. However, he went to Huddersfield in January as Chelsea felt it better for him to be in a promotion push than a relegation battle. Tom Adeyemi, on loan from Cardiff City, has also been doing well. He is a good physical athlete in the attacking midfield role and that allows him to get beyond the strikers and score goals. He should be back for tomorrow’s game which will be a big boost, alongside the probable returns of top scorer Danny Ward and Semi Ajayi.

It’s on the road that Rotherham have really struggled this season, what can that be put down to?

This season they simply haven’t had the quality to compete away from home. The team are organized but ultimately that isn’t enough against some of the quality that there is in this division and a single point on the road, from a 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town, shows that.

How will Rotherham look to approach their visit to Griffin Park?

Warne had made the team much more competitive until last weekend’s 5-0 defeat to Cardiff City. Hopefully that was just a blip and not the sign of something else. Rotherham will look to keep it tight in the first-half tomorrow and look to play on the break. They have more than matched teams in the first-halves recently but the quality of oppositions has told in the second-half and that has made the difference. I saw the game against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, as did Paul Warne, and he saw a very good Brentford performance up there.

Don’t miss out on a piece of history: celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fans saving Brentford by booking tickets now for The Bees’ home match against Rotherham United on 25 February. Prices are just £1 for Juniors, £5 for Young Persons, and £20 for adults all over Griffin Park.

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