ROTHERHAM United manager Steve Evans admits he undertook a strategy to re-focus during the worst week of his Millers management tenure.
“It was my most difficult week last week,” said Evans who had endured the first criticism of aspects of his management style in the days after the loss to bottom-side Bristol Rovers.
“But I look in first before looking out and if you don’t look inside then you never get it right.
“Some decisions you’re not happy with; not all selections do you get right and you take it quite badly.
“But I spoke to other managers, people like Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Neil Warnock and others, people I have a lot of respect for and sometimes they re-focus you rather than change you.
“It re-focuses you to do things a certain way that we may have got sloppy about. And to focus on the game coming up, nothing else.”
He said he’d had a “long, hard week” but the the emotion after the win over Northampton was not relief because he had belief in the players that they could win.
“I spoke long and hard to players during the week about the key characteristics that I think that players have to have to a minimum but which are absolutely essential,” said Evans.
“We’re talking effort, passion, commitment - things I pointed out when I first came here - and if you don’t have those three then you don’t get your ability out.
“We had all three on Saturday plus desire and fight.”
Evans said he had given the players an extra day off this week ahead of the game at fourth-placed Burton Albion on Saturday.
“It is to help freshen up their legs after the physicality of the Northampton game,” said Evans, who expects centre-back Craig Morgan to be available for selection when the Millers entertain rivals Chesterfield on February 16.
Scott Shearer remains three to four weeks from returning to the first-team fold but Lee Frecklington (ankle) is expected to be in contention for the trip to Burton.
Did you know? After nearly 10 months at the helm, Evans record at Rotherham reads 18 victories, eight draws and 13 defeats. In the last 10 outings, the Millers have won five and lost five.