ROTHERHAM United manager Andy Scott insists they are still in there fighting for a League Two Play-off place and says he can understand people’s frustrations that they are not in a better position.
However, the reality of the situation is that only the final Play-off place (seventh) now looks open to the Millers and they must win at least one of the three away games they have this month or there is a real danger that even seventh place could be out of reach.
They have three of their next four games away from home, starting at Southend on Friday. After a Valentine’s Night home game with Accrington Stanley, they then go to Burton and Gillingham - this last one representing the game in hand over those above them (as it is for Gillingham).
If Rotherham don’t win any of those three away games then the maximum haul they could get would be three points. If they were to win the home game against Accrington that would be a maximum possible total of six points from the four games which is already the current gap to Oxford who are seventh.
A failure to win any of those three away games would quite possibly leave a scenario where, before the final week of the month, the Millers are looking at a gap (to seventh) wider than six points.
The top six are virtually beyond reach. Before last Saturday’s game at Don Valley was frozen off, scheduled opponents Torquay were heading north in sixth place and 13 points in front of the Millers. Such gaps are almost impossible to overcome at this stage of a season.
It means a critical spell is coming up for the Millers who are 13th and, obviously, have under-performed this season.
“I can understand the frustrations of the fans, they want to see results,” said Scott. “But any negativity doesn’t help.
“We have to be positive, to strive to pick up results. If people want to be negative and give up that’s up to them.
“It doesn’t help (having that attitude). We are still in there fighting for the Play-offs and we shall carry that fight on.”
If Millers followers need any inspiration then perhaps they can take it from a certain 30th anniversary this month.
Struggling to stay in what is now the Championship in the first season after promotion, the Millers began February 1982 third from bottom.
They opened it with a 10-man home win over Derby (after Gerry Gow was sent off in the third minute) and went on to win eight successive matches in February to, incredibly, end the month third from top and chasing promotion - in the process setting a record for successive wins in a calendar month achieved since then only by Bristol City and, last March, Brighton.
Saturday’s postponement gives defender Johnny Mullins extra time to overcome his hamstring injury and also means that Gareth Evans will be available after his back problem when the game is rearranged.