Captain Kirk Broadfoot is warning there’ll no room for sentiment as Rotherham United fight for their Championship survival under Neil Warnock.
The Millers have 14 matches left to save their season and the stand-in skipper predicts the new boss will wield the axe if players fail to do things his way.
Warnock and managerial partner Kevin Blackwell have been in charge for two matches and watched their side battle hard at top-two contenders Burnley on their way to a 2-0 defeat last Saturday.
“Him and Kev have us on the training ground every day working on shape and how the game-plan is going to be,” Broadfoot revealed.
“I think everyone knows their job when we go out there. I think they’ll be ruthless. If you don’t do your job, you won’t play. Everyone has got to do their job.”
Broadfoot, who is leading the side in the injury absence of Lee Frecklington, believes third-bottom Rotherham, who face Reading at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow, can make up the five-point gap between themselves and safety.
“There’s a long way to go. There are plenty of points still to be played for,” he said. “Neil has given everyone a lift. He’s bubbly character, good to be around, and he gets the boys onside.
“The Reading game is going to be very difficult. They’re a top side.
“They were up at the top of the league earlier in the season. They’ve come back into it now, especially at home.
“They have good athletes in their side. But the management will have a game-plan for us and hopefully we can go there and get a result.”
The 31-year-old thought the Millers acquitted themselves well at Turf Moor against arguably the strongest side in the division.
“If we had taken anything from the game, we would have seen it as bonus points,” he said. “It’s the teams round about us and in midtable that we are looking to take points off.
“As long as we work hard and are well organised, we are going to give everyone a game.
“There’s the chance of points in any match. The Championship is a difficult league but on any given day we can beat anyone. We’ve seen that with the wins over Hull and Brighton. If you get that first goal, it changes games.”
Midfielder Joe Newell spurned a golden chance to equalise in the 80th-minute against Burnley, shooting wide in front of goal with only the keeper to beat.
“I thought it was a very good team effort,” Broadfoot said. “We played one of the top teams and we were pushing to get a draw, if Joe takes his chance, it’s a different game, but he missed it and it’s one of those things.”
The Millers are monitoring the condition of striker Danny Ward who was withdrawn early on against the Clarets after a thumping challenge from centre-half Michael Keane.
Warnock said on Saturday night: “He’s a little bit dazed. We are not sure if he is concussed or not. We are going to monitor him and see how he does.
“He wasn’t knocked out, so we just don’t know. You can’t be too careful. We will know more in the next 24 hours.”
Rotherham fell behind to a first-half penalty given away by debutant Lloyd Doyley and, even though replays show referee Tim Robinson made the right call, Warnock still queried the official’s positioning and decision.
“I don’t how the referee can give it from there,” he said. “He has guessed it and that shouldn’t be allowed.
“He didn’t guess when their lad headed it out and he gave a corner instead of a goal-kick. I do get disappointed. But I can’t fault the lads. I thought they were super.”