'Alf' is ready to get back among goals

IT'S something of an irony around Millers circles that they have scored 10 goals in their last three games and not one of them has been from the man with a real thirst for goals, Adam Le Fondre.

In time-honoured fashion, Rotherham United manager Ronnie Moore came up with the line that it doesn't matter who scores 'em.

But he will know, as well as anybody, that Alf will be desperate to get his name up in goalscoring lights again pretty quickly - preferably starting against Paul Sturrock's Southend United at Don Valley on Saturday.

If he doesn't score then that would equal his longest run in a Millers shirt without a goal - all of four games.

He was, in fact, on course to go four games without a goal when he came up with the winner against Aldershot on December 11. The three games since have seen a 5-0 win over Port Vale and a 2-0 win over Macclesfield followed by the 3-3 draw this week at Stockport where he did score only for it to be disallowed for a foul elsewhere.

Although there has been much speculation - and anxiety it must be said - amongst Millers followers over a possible January swoop by someone for Le Fondre, it seems likely that nobody will be coming through this particular transfer window. If they did, only a massively high offer is likely to tempt anyone.

The player - who has another year and a half on his contract - has said that contract talks with the club are now on hold.

That feeling is that he will continue to oil his 'Goal Machine' in red and white for the remainder of the campaign with a dnouement looking increasingly likely for player and club come next Summer.

Le Fondre, 24, has made no secret of his desire to play at a higher level and he believes he can do so. Clearly he might eye up the prospect of aiming to show he can score at Championship level one day and maybe even higher.

For now, he will want to show he can keep scoring the goals which will help the Millers to the promotion they so agonisingly missed out on last May. Then again, perhaps Ronnie Moore will settle for him missing out in the next three games if they could score 10 in them.

It was at Southend at the end of October that Rotherham gave one of their most insipid performances of the season in a 1-0 defeat which was Rotherham's last away defeat in the league - although statisticians will point out they've only played three away games since!

Southend went down 3-2 at home to Chesterfield last Saturday and in centre defence was former Millers and Owls skipper Graham Coughlan alongside Chris Barker, brother of Richie. However, experienced central defender Mark Phillips - who was with Brentford when they won promotion in 2009 - is ready for first team action again after being out four months with hamstring problems and then hernia surgery.

Former Owls striker Barry Corr was up front.Another former Wednesday player Peter Gilbert was on the bench along with boss Sturrock's son Blair scorer of the goal which sank Rotherham.

Southend have won their last two away games, at Oxford and Cheltenham, and only lost one of the last six on their travels.

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