Rotherham United: Millers ace ready to go

Lee Frecklington
Lee Frecklington
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Rotherham United will get more ‘game time’ into their squad this weekend and that will include some involvement for Lee Frecklington.

Manager Steve Evans says the influential midfielder “will play a part” when the Millers face MK Dons at the New York Stadium.

“He was ready for Wolves (on Good Friday) but I said he wouldn’t feature and he was ok for Port Vale but I decided not to,” said Evans.

“He is fit and ready to go but I have to decide whether or not he starts tomorrow or goes on the bench.”

Frecklington injured his back at Gillingham and has missed the last four matches.

“What has happened in the last three games is that we’ve got game time into players who may not have been figuring much and it is important we do that and we shall look to do it.

“But, not to the detriment of winning the game. What remains important is winning our last two games because we want to finish third.

“If it so happens we don’t finish third, then we want it to be fourth.”

The absence of Richie Smallwood creates a vacancy in midfield. He has a three match ban for Monday’s red card with Evans saying he thought it was a yellow but could see why it became a red.

“He’s one of the top young referees who, I imagine, is destined for the Premier League and he told me what he’d seen,” said Evans.

“Richie just caught him late and it’s not like him but he gave the ref the chance to show red.”

Evans - who dismissed talk linking him with winger Lee Croft as ‘nonsense’ - said he had expected MK Dons to have figured in the shake-up for the play-offs.

When Rotherham and MK Dons met on the final day of the season at Millmoor in 2006, it was, in effect, a relegation shoot-out at the bottom of League One.

Rotherham needed a draw to secure their safety but a win for MK Dons - managed by Danny Wilson at that time - and they would have been safe and relegated Rotherham. It finished goalless and the Millers stayed up whilst MK went down.

In the jostling for Play-off placings, Preston entertain Gillingham whilst Leyton Orient are at home to Tranmere tomorrow. Peterborough will confirm their place in the Play-offs if they win at Shrewsbury or Swindon lose at Notts County.

Millers boss Evans says he would prefer to be at home for the second leg of the play-offs.

“Why? Well, it’s just my preference but under the lights, with the noise levels right up at our stadium, it would be some atmosphere - well, that’s why,” he said.

“I think it could be a big advantage off the pitch although I don’t reckon there’ll be a big difference on it.”

After tomorrow’s game, the Millers players will go down the tunnel and then return for a lap of appreciation but spectators are warned to stay off the pitch. If they go on to the pitch then there will be no return by the players

Rotherham began selling tickets yesterday for the play-off semi-final to their season ticket holders.

Supporters at tomorrow’s game should keep their ticket stubs and this will give them priority for the semi-final game ahead of tickets going on general sale.

Demand is expected to be high with every chance of a full house. They are to restrict the away following to the minimum allowed, around 1,500.

The first legs are on Saturday, May 10 with 6 v 3 at 12.15 and 5 v 4 at 5.15.

The second legs are Tuesday, May 13 (3 v 6) and Thursday, May 15 (4 v 5). Both at 7.45.