Greg Halford and Jordan Bowery have no future with Rotherham United after boss Neil Redfearn told the duo to find new clubs.
Halford was signed on a two-year deal in the summer but was quickly dropped and stripped of the captaincy before Redfearn took over from Steve Evans in October while Bowery has failed to cement a starting spot since joining from Aston Villa for a then Millers record fee 19 months ago.
“Greg is not in our plans. He needs to go and look somewhere else if he is to prolong his career. He needs to go and find another club and the same with Jordan Bowery,” Redfearn confirmed.
“That’s football. Players come in, players go out and these two players need to go and find new clubs. Hopefully somebody comes in for them.
“I’m not knocking them as lads, they’re good lads, but they just need to move on. We need to get better in.”
The Millers manager is busy recruiting players during the January transfer window and hopes to have two midfielders in place by the end of this week.
Injury-hit Rotherham, who entertain Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow night as they look to remain out of the drop zone, are talking to Cardiff City about re-signing centre-forward Alex Revell and have striker Luciano Becchio training with them.
“There’s nothing wrong with the way we are playing, nothing wrong with the way we are fighting and battling,” Redfearn said. “But we need better quality.”
One signing already made, centre-half Aimen Belaid, made his Millers debut in the 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Leeds United and the 27-year-old Tunisia international, plucked from Bulgarian football, impressed his new manager.
“I thought he did well, particularly in the first half,” Redfearn said. “He’s got pace, you can see that. He gets out of trouble. He used the ball well, he intercepted things and stepped in and won his headers.
“He played his part and had a good game. It gives Broady (Kirk Broadfoot) that chance to go in and attack things, and that is important.”
Midfielder Paul Green played well against former club Leeds as he made his first start since the 5-2 defeat against Ipswich Town in November and admitted it had been unpleasant hearing some supporters booing him as his mistakes contributed to two of the Tractor Boys’ goals.
“Ipswich was tough. You know yourself you’ve not played well, and obviously a few boos from the fans when you’re getting the ball doesn’t help,” he said.
“I’m big enough and strong enough to cope, and better players than me have had it before. You’ve just got to get on with it. It’s part of football. Everyone has got their opinions.”
The 32-year-old, who always gives 100 per cent, also made an impact as an early substitute against Preston nine days ago when he came on for injured captain Lee Frecklington.
“I’ve managed to get myself back in the team and think I’ve done well in the last two games,” he said. “Having the fans on your back is frustrating, but you know if you’re doing well in the team and I had a bit of a shocker against Ipswich.
“I wasn’t playing in my preferred position in the centre, but that’s no excuse. I’ve dug deep in training and I’ve worked hard to get myself back in.”
He is another member of the Belaid fan club, saying: “He was solid in the air and good on the ground and is a good little addition and cover for us with Farrend Rawson being injured.”
Utility man Halford, aged 31, meanwhile, has paid the price for a poor start to his Millers career, losing his place after five league matches, never featuring under Redfearn and spending December on loan at Birmingham City.
Striker Bowery, 24, has made just eight league starts and 32 Championship substitute appearances for the club, scoring five goals in the second tier.
His last action in a Millers shirt before a loan spell at League One Bradford City came in a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on November 3 when he squandered a golden chance to grab a second-half equaliser.
Rotherham took off right-back Shay Facey, forced to play in midfield because of injuries, as a precaution at Elland Road when his hamstring tightened up.
“What we can’t afford to do is lose him because we haven’t got anyone to replace him,” Redfearn said.
“It was a really heavy pitch and it took its toll, so we have to rest the lads up. We’ll have a light session on Monday and Tuesday and then get after Brighton.”