Rotherham United: Lifting job for Millers boss Steve Evans

Kirk Broadfoot
Kirk Broadfoot
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Boss Steve Evans has pledged to raise the spirits of his Rotherham United players ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

The Millers were edged out 2-1 by Wigan Athletic on Saturday in the Championship survival clash at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Evans said after the match: “The dressing room is pretty flat and pretty down. It will be my job to make sure that we lift and we go again.”

A refereeing error helped the 22nd-placed Latics to close the gap on Evans’ men, a place above them, to six points.

James Linnington awarded a foul even though Wigan striker James McLean clearly dived, and Jermaine Pennant stepped up to score in the 31st minute before adding a second from another free-kick five minutes later.

“We spoke about the quality that Wigan had and knew it would come from set-plays and dead balls, not from open play because they were outplayed here today,” Evans said.

“But when they have dead balls they have players like Jermaine Pennant who has played in the Premier League and can do that kind of thing.”

Meanwhile, Kirk Broadfoot has talked of his growing centre-half partnership with loan teenager Ferrand Rawson.

In two games together the pair haven’t conceded a goal in open play, and Scottish international Broadfoot said: “He came in last week and did really well. I think he’s a good player. Everyone can see that.

“He’s done well in training. It’s just comfortable. We help each other and we talk. I think with a run of games he’ll get better, the same as myself. Getting a run of games in your proper position helps. He’s a good addition.”

Rawson’s display in the 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town last week allowed Evans to keep skipper Craig Morgan, just back from injury, on the bench against the Latics.

“Rawson was outstanding,” said Evans. “Craig Morgan could have played if called on. Rawson was my best player today. He never lost a header.”

The Rotherham boss criticised Wigan’s time-wasting tactics in the second half as they held on for victory despite strong pressure from the home side.

“The referee adds five minutes at the end. He could haver added 15 with some of the shenanigans that went on,” Evans said.

“But you have to deal with that.”

Forest, who have been revived by new boss Dougie Freedman after the sacking of Stuart Pearce, drew 0-0 at Leeds United at the weekend.