After laying false trails in the wake of their previous two matches, Steve Evans might well back up his warning words next time.
The Rotherham United manager was unhappy over aspects of his side’s performance in the goalless draw at Colchester on Tuesday and reckons that some players will pay the penalty when they next play which will be away to Oldham Athletic next Tuesday.
Evans’ main gripe was over the first half performance on the first visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
“The players were down and they should be,” he said.
“I had strong words because it was not good enough and some of the performances, particularly first half, from some individuals, were unacceptable.
“They are harsh words but if people think they have a God-given right to just turn up and think things will go alright then they now know they can’t and might find out even more come next Tuesday because they might not be playing.”
Immediately following two recent games, at Carlisle and against Notts County last Saturday, Evans came out and said that he would make changes for the following game. On both occasions he talked of freshening things up.
He obviously had a change of heart because the changes didn’t materialise and the only alterations on both occasions were enforced. However, this time he seemed in more determined mood.
“We have standards and we fell below them in the first half,” he said.
“We weren’t on the front foot and you can’t decide to turn up after 50 minutes and then try to turn it on. You have to earn the right to win by playing for 90 minutes.”
Evans was left raging once again over a penalty decision that didn’t go their way. Kieran Agard took the ball on his chest and was then barged in the back and knocked over and it looked a clear penalty.
“It was an absolute cert and you can’t allow for a referee not giving it... it was a horrendous decision,” he said.
He acknowledged that the poor state of the pitch did not help either side.
“You can’t have pitch like the one at New York Stadium everywhere,” he added. “They have had problems with the weather as we saw here a few weeks ago but it’s not worthy of League One and not conducive to how we play.”
n Evans is among the nominations for February Manager of the Month in League One along with Nigel Clough, Simon Grayson and Kenny Jackett. The Millers won all four games.
In addition, midfielder Lee Frecklington is in the frame for League One Player of the Month.
He scored three goals in February but his all-round play was excellent at a time when he was also the captain.