Fuming boss Neil Redfearn is counting down the days until he can replace the players he accuses of letting down Rotherham United’s fans.
The Millers manager says there is “no excuse” for the first-half no-show in Tuesday’s 2-0 Championship defeat at Huddersfield, telling his side they should appreciate the “privileged” lifestyle they lead and warning them they could be working at B&Q.
He is intent on acting when the transfer window opens on January 1, claiming the squad he inherited from previous boss Steve Evans in October isn’t good enough to survive in the second tier.
“January is massive,” he said, ”We let good players go, we brought in players who are sub-standard in the summer and now we are left with this. This isn’t going to go away. We have got to get better players in.
“We brought a large following to Huddersfield. They expected effort and endeavour and it never happened in the first half.”
Redfearn says he can’t forgive the players for their lack of fight they showed in the opening 45 minutes in front of an away following close to 2,000.
“They are in a privileged position,” he said. “I played nearly a 1,000 games and I played in all divisions, Premier League, right down to the Conference.
“This is worth fighting for, let me tell you, because the alternative is getting up at seven in the morning, going to B&Q, working nine until half five, getting paid £5 an hour and getting home at seven at night every day of the week.”
Only left-back Joe Mattock, centre-half Kirk Broadfoot and central midfielder Richie Smallwood emerged with any credit from a Yorkshire derby which kept Rotherham next to bottom in the table and increased the gap between them and a survival spot to four points.
Redfearn’s comments about pre-season recruitment sparked a response from his predecessor at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Evans is now in charge at Leeds United, where Redfearn was head coach last season, and he said: “I could have said that here couldn’t I, but I have got too much professionalism about myself. I have read those comments and it just sounds like a man under extreme pressure who wonders what happens if he loses the next one.”
Millers right-back Lewis Buxton admitted Redfearn was right to to criticise the display at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“As as group of lads, we just have to take responsibility and say we had a bad night,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s down to attitude. I think throughout a 46-game season you’re going to get ups and downs. We’re obviously struggling. We’re down there. We can’t sit around and lose all confidence and give in.”