IT’S coming up to crunch time for Rotherham United in their bid to make the automatic promotion places in League Two.
With leaders Chesterfield 16 points ahead of them and, therefore, virtually out of sight, the Millers are left in the battle for the two remaining places. They are one of six clubs genuinely doing that.
After their unfortunate defeat at Bradford on Tuesday through the 90th minute “Goal That Never Was” when Tom Adeyemi’s never crossed the line, Ronnie Moore’s side find themselves five points behind the sides who occupy second and third, Bury and Wycombe - with Bury due at the Don Valley Stadium on Saturday.
For Rotherham it is the first of a trio of games from the next four when they meet three of the clubs above them.
After second-placed Bury on Saturday, it is the first trip to Chesterfield’s B2net Stadium the following Friday for the live Sky game and after a trip to Lincoln has intervened the following Friday, they then play Shrewsbury (currently fourth) at the Don Valley Stadium on Tuesday, March 29.
Quite clearly, Rotherham’s automatic credentials are on the line between now and the end of March.
They go into this spell knowing they must get a points return from these games against their rivals if they are to stay in contention for a top three spot.
Since the turn of the year, they had never been lower than fourth until slipping to fifth after Tuesday’s latest away defeat, the sixth in the last eight away games - a return which has prevented them being right up there with the top three.
On Tuesday, Adam Le Fondre was left out, manager Ronnie Moore saying that he felt the little top scorer was a bit “jaded” and the rest could do him good and suggested he could be back for the Bury game.
Le Fondre scored in the 4-2 win at Burton recently (the only away win in those eight) but it was his first away goal since October 16 at Accrington and that was a penalty and he has been less prolific away from home with only four of his 21 goals coming in away games.
Meanwhile, supporters will get the chance to hear from the club’s hierarchy tonight at the Fans Forum at the Carlton Park Hotel, Moorgate (7.30).
In addition to illustrations etc., of the new ground, the club will outline the huge improvements within all areas of the club including award-winning and wide-ranging community involvement, increased commercial revenues and various other aspects.