Rotherham United: Millers boss says they will have a go

Lee Frecklington with physio Denis Circuit and assistant manager Paul Raynor
Lee Frecklington with physio Denis Circuit and assistant manager Paul Raynor
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Steve Evans has promised his Rotherham United side will “have a go” when they turn up at Bramall Lane tonight.

The Millers manager says the philosophy of him and coach Paul Raynor is to go out, attack and try to win and a prestige local derby against Sheffield United won’t see them changing.

“We won’t go there and play 4-5-1, sit back, it’s not our style,” said Evans.

“We want to go out and entertain, go out and attack and we’ll aim to do that. It’s not everybody’s way but it works for us.

“Sheffield United are, perhaps, unusual in that they play 4-5-1, pack people behind the ball and then attack with speed, aggression and purpose hence why they have been winning football matches.

“If you’re not winning then it’s not very good to watch but they are winning so, for their supporters, it makes it very good to watch.

“Nigel (Clough) has done nothing short of a fantastic job there after being shockingly dismissed at Derby where he was building something, that was quite special, a step at a time.

“Sheffield United are as big as Derby and he will know what we he wants and where he wants to go.

“We’re looking forward to it and I’m calling it the Friendly Derby because there’s respect between the clubs and the supporters. Our club and supporters know the debt they owe to both Sheffield clubs and their supporters for helping this football club out in its hour of need some years ago and everyone knows the length the Blades went to in helping out Rotherham United. No one here has forgotten.”

He added: “It’s a fantastic achievement getting to the FA Cup semi-final and we really hope they succeed but perhaps they would have preferred not having a full-blooded local derby just a few days before going to Wembley.

Of his own side Evans said: “This group of players keep breaking records, ending runs and long may they keep on doing it.

“I’m told we’ve not won at Bramall Lane since 1980 and have usually lost on the occasions since so it would be nice to turn things around.

The injury doubt for Rotherham is midfielder Lee Frecklington.

He injured his back ten minutes from the end at Gillingham and had to go off.

Evans said his chances are 50-50... “he’s had a scan and it didn’t show anything but there is some stiffness so we’ll have to wait and see how he is,” he added.

Alternatives including a recall for Michael O’Connor or bringing in Rob Milsom.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s match-winning hero Tom Hitchcock says the Rotherham United players are “buzzing” waiting for the visit to Bramall Lane.

“It’s a big game, the lads are buzzing and they’re really up for it,” said Hitchcock whose three goals in the 4-3 win at Gillingham makes him the first Millers substitute ever to score a hat-trick.

“I’d love to think it might get me a start and I’ve never played there and would love to but it’s all about getting a result whoever plays.”

He said no one is thinking about the top two and acknowledges that Brentford are in pole position being six points ahead.

“We just go out trying to win games and get as many points as we can and let’s see what happens,” added the 23-year-old who is on loan from QPR.

“It’s been frustrating not being in the side. I was quite down a couple of weeks ago but the gaffer had a chat, pushed me on and I got a confidence boost with two goals for the reserves last week. I hope I get the chance to add to the Gillingham goals.

Rotherham’s last win at the Lane was 2-1 in September 1980, a promotion season. Since then they’ve played there seven times, losing five and drawing two.

Promotion rivals Brentford, who hold a six point lead over them, are at home to Crawley tonight whilst sixth-placed Peterborough (eight points ahead of the Blades) are at home to Gillingham.

Rotherham have sold out their allocation of over 5,000 and could have sold more.