ROTHERHAM UNITED: Caretaker boss cool on Naylor retirement talk

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RICHARD Naylor has no plans to retire from football at the end of the season despite his injury problems, says Rotherham United caretaker manager Darren Patterson.

A knee problem has kept the veteran central defender, who turned 35 in February, on the sidelines in recent weeks.

A plethora of injuries have limited Naylor to just five starts since joining the Millers on a short-term deal in the New Year, his last appearance coming in the 1-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.

The commanding defender, who has represented Ipswich Town, Millwall, Barnsley, Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers during his career, is unlikely to feature at AFC Wimbledon or Cheltenham Town over the Easter period.

“Richard is still struggling,” said Patterson. “He tried to step up his rehabilitation last week but it is slow progress unfortunately.”

Naylor has played just 20 times this term, and speculation is growing he is contemplating calling it a day at the end of the 2011/12 campaign.

But Patterson insisted: “Richard is a winner. He is a fighter so it is not difficult for him at all to comeback from injuries. It is more frustrating for him mentally because he wants to be out there playing.

“He works his socks off and he is an absolutely outstanding professional.

“I expect him to comeback from this and continue his career. Without a shadow of a doubt. I have not been told any different.”

Rotherham’s home clash with Cheltenham on Easter Monday has been designated as a ‘Kids for a Quid’ fixture.

The offer is available to all 16-year-olds and under. Under-12s will need to be accompanied by an adult paying normal rates in all areas of the ground. Tickets can be bought on the day of the match.