DONCASTER Rovers’ on-loan defender Joseph Mills is back at the club and pressing for a start in tonight’s rearranged home game against Ipswich Town at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The Southampton defender arrived back at the club last week, after spending several weeks back at the League One outfit having treatment on a knee injury and was a substitute in Saturday’s game against Portsmouth.
The 21 year-old left-back had been keen to sample some of the action against one of Southampton’s south coast rivals, but sat on the bench throughout,
Mills last appearance for Rovers was a month ago against Reading, when he lasted less than half-an-hour before coming off with an injury picked up in training 48 hours earlier.
The injury was later diagnosed as a cracked tibia and knee ligament damage.
During his time on the injured list, Rovers managed to secure his services until the end of the season,
Having struggled to force his way into the Southampton starting line-up, Mills was more than happy to stay on at Doncaster, where he has made eight starts.
The younger brother of former Rovers; favourite Matt Mills, the defender was originally brought in as cover for summer signing George Friend after he suffered a medial knee ligament injury in the win at Scunthorpe United in October.
He now finds himself in direct competition with Friend, who has played well in recent games,
“It’s going to be a challenge to try and fight my way back into the team but I thrive on challenges,” said Mills,
“With the two clubs having agreed a loan deal until the end of the season I know where my immediate future lies,” said Mills.
“I’m now back training at the club and hopefully I can prove to the manager that I am worth a place in the side.”
.Rovers’ prospects have taken a dive in the last month and are down to 16th.
“Obviously recent results haven’t gone our way, although we could have nicked a few points here and there and been a few places higher in the league,” said Mills.
“I’ve seen a few of the games and we’ve not been too bad in my eyes. We’ve maybe just switched off a couple of times, or luck hasn’t gone our way such as when we lost at Millwall in the last minute in a game which I don’t think either side deserved to win.
“We’ve got to keep our heads up and we go again tonight. We’ve got a few games coming up in quick succession and obviously we need to try and pick up as many points as possible to push our way up the table.”
Although Rovers are much nearer the bottom three rather than the top six, Mills hasn’t ruled out an assault on the play-offs.
“I think that the play-offs are still achievable until such times until mathematical they are not,” he said, “That is how I see it.
“It’s not out of our thoughts, but we know it is a massive ask.
“We are going to take every game as it comes and try and grind out a win in every game and we’ll see where we stand with ten games to go.”
Talking of his future, Mills said: “I’ve obviously still got a year left on my contract at Southampton,
“But they’ve obviously got two left-backs who are playing in front of me at this moment in time,
“So it is up to the manager at Southampton (Nigel Adkins) whether he wants to let me go (in the summer) and, most importantly, whether the Doncaster manager (Sean O’Driscoll) wants to sign me,”