Rotherham United: Millers boss ready for first signings

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If his record of last year is anything to go by, Rotherham United manager Steve Evans isn’t far away from his first signing as he begins to build a squad ready for League One.

He isn’t one to let the grass grow under his feet when it comes to recruitment but, compared with 12 months ago, Evans is actually lagging behind. That’s simply because he hasn’t made a signing yet!

He was in a hurry 12 months ago. In 2012, the season finished on the first Saturday in May. Before the second Saturday, Evans had his first signing sorted - Daniel Nardiello.

A few days further down the line and Kayode Odejayi had been persuaded to come to South Yorkshire.

Others quickly followed and there was rumour and speculation and talk of some who didn’t - Evans admitted his interest in three Peterborough players, one of them Lee Frecklington. It was to be October by the time he did get him in on loan.

Evans didn’t take a break at the end of last season. Needing a big influx of players, he felt he needed to move particularly quickly and get some key players snapped up.

This time, he has had a break. The reward for promotion has been a club trip to Las Vegas. Now comes the time to gamble with his new signings for next season.

Last summer it was 11. This time Evans says he is looking for the numbers you can count on one hand not on two and a bit.

“There were a lot of signings made right across last season,” says Evans, a reference to the 25 signings - both loan and permanent - that he made.

“If I was inheriting the squad I had a year ago then I’d do the same again,” he said.

Acknowledging that a percentage of signings wouldn’t be right, Evans reckoned that he got about 75 per cent of those 25 right.

“The 25 per cent I reckon we didn’t get right were part of the post mortem in the immediate aftermath of promotion,” said Evans whilst acknowledging he can’t have such a percentage failure this time because there’ll be fewer signings.

Four of last Summer’s signings, Ian Sharps, Kayode Odejayi, Nicky Hunt and Lionel Ainsworth were told this week they are free to find another club.

League One is a stiffer challenge but Evans had identified targets before heading across to the USA. Except something soon.