ROTHERHAM United manager Ronnie Moore is confident the club can maintain their top three push - as long as they tighten up defensively.
Moore is eager for the team to build on the shut out at home to Accrington Stanley last week as they aim to avoid the lottery of the Play-Offs.
He recently recruited Callum Kennedy from Swindon Town to bolster his defensive options and has not given up hope on bringing back Danny Coid on loan from Blackpool. Nonetheless, Moore is demanding his players get back to basics and start cutting out the individual errors threatening to undermine their promotion challenge.
The Millers head to Burton Albion on Saturday seeking to end a run of five successive defeats on the road.
“We were hard to beat away from home last season but that hasn’t been the case this year,” Moore told The Star. “We just haven’t performed as a unit as a back four when we have come under pressure, particularly away from home.
“If we can start keeping clean sheets, we have got players going forward like Ryan Taylor, Ian-Thomas Moore, Alfie, Marcus Marshall, Nicky Law who can do some damage. It is just essential we start defending better as we have got enough strength in depth to be frightening most of the sides at this level.”
Moore blames injuries and suspensions for the team’s defensive frailties: “We haven’t really had an established back four since the start of the season. We have had Ryan Cresswell, John Mullins, Dale Tonge and Tom Newey all out at certain stages. I’m not making excuses but we have had to make a lot of changes.”
Meanwhile, Rotherham duo Jamie Green and Grant Darley have joined Boston United on a month’s loan.
Port Vale boss Jim Gannon has confirmed he wants to sign Tom Pope on a permanent basis. The striker, on-loan from Rotherham, claimed two goals for his boyhood club in the Valiants 2-0 win over Bradford City.
“Regarding Tom (Pope), I don’t have a difficult decision,” said Gannon. “The finances are there to strengthen.”