Rotherham United: Millers boss hopes for deadline-day departures

Neil Redfearn
Neil Redfearn
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Neil Redfearn expects Rotherham United to do business before tonight’s transfer deadline while he closes in on appointing a new assistant manager.

The boss anticipates exits from the Millers camp, and he has until 11pm to wrap up a possible deal for another midfielder.

Joe Mattock

Joe Mattock

“There will perhaps be some departures,” he revealed. “I think the problem we have got is that we have not got strength in depth in those two central-midfield roles, so that is something we might have to look at.”

Redfearn has identified who he would like to replace Eric Black as his No 2 and the new man could be in place before next Saturday’s Championship trip to bottom club Bolton Wanderers.

“There is one person particularly that I have been speaking to and I think he would be good for Rotherham United,” he said.

“He is at a club and I have gone through the front door. I have asked the manager and he is fine with it, so hopefully we can progress that.”

Grant Ward

Grant Ward

Redfearn is happy with his recruitment after making six signings in January, but is tempted to make a final move to bolster the Millers’ engine room.

“We have got Richie (Smallwood) and Greeny (Paul Green) in there, but if we want to change it around or if we get an injury we are a little bit light,” he said. “Obviously with Freck (Lee Frecklington) and his hamstring problem, we are a little bit short.”

Among the players Rotherham are keen to see leave are utility man Greg Halford and right midfielder Chris Maguire.

The Millers manager has defended Jonson Clarke-Harris who blazed a penalty over the bar at a crucial time in Rotherham’s 4-1 home defeat against second-bottom Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

The substitute striker earned the spot-kick himself, his run into the box bringing a foul from Jorge Teixeira, but squandered the opportunity to make the score 3-2 with 17 minutes remaining.

“To be fair to Jonno, he pushed and shoved his way in and won the penalty himself, but penalties are black and white,” Redfearn said.

“If it finishes in the net, it’s a good penalty, and if it’s missed or saved then it’s frowned upon. It would have been interesting had it gone in to see how Charlton would have reacted.

“He has held his hands up, to be fair. I thought when he came on he was a real livewire, so I don’t want to be too critical of the lad.”

Left-back Joe Mattock added: “Jonno is a bit down about the penalty. He just has to pick himself up.

“We just need to get ourselves back together during the week and be positive for the next game.”

The Millers played poorly against the Addicks but remain above the relegation places.

“They are a good side. We maybe under-estimated them a bit,” Mattock added. “They have some good players up top. They held the ball up well. Maybe we should have been a little bit more aggressive with them up top. It was disappointing.”

Rotherham conceded a goal near to the break for the ninth time this season to trail 2-1 at the interval after fighting back from an early Addicks goal through Chris Burke’s 11th-minute leveller.

“A goal right on half-time was a killer for us,” Mattock admitted. “We came out second half and if we had got a goal back maybe it would have been a different game altogether. They nicked another and that just killed us.”

The Millers are on the verge of extending the loan deal of midfielder Grant Ward from Spurs to the end of the season.

“We are more or less there with it,” Redfearn confirmed. “That’s a big plus. Grant has been a big part of what’s been good, so hopefully that gets concluded.”

Centre-half Danny Collins was missing from the bench on Saturday after being ill during the week.

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