Boss Steve Evans has challenged second-choice goalkeeper Adam Collin to earn the right to replace Rotherham United No 1 Kelle Roos.
A Roos error played a part in Nottingham Forest’s winner against Evans’ men last Saturday, but the Dutch shot-stopper made several decent saves plus an outstanding one and will keep his place for tonight’s Championship clash at home to Preston North End.
Evans wants to see Collin improve his form before he considers him for a Millers recall.
“Adam’s performances in training games and closed-door reserve games have not been good enough,” he said. “We need Adam’s performances to step back up to the level he’s capable of.
“There’s no questioning Adam Collin’s ability. But to take somebody’s shirt not only does that person have to under-perform, you have to then over-perform.”
Some fans are calling for Collin, who played more than 30 matches in the Championship for the Millers last season, to be reinstated after Roos played in the 4-1 opening-day defeat against MK Dons and then presented Michail Antonio with his match-winning opportunity at the City Ground when he deflected a cross on to the bar instead of catching it or punching it behind for a corner.
Evans claims there were a series of mistakes from other players in the build-up to the goal, adding: “Kelle Roos was outstanding on Saturday. He made one error that led to a goal, but it was one of four. Adam Collin’s performances need to come up if he wants to get a Millers No 1 shirt.”
Forward Danny Ward is a concern ahead of tonight’s AESSEAL New York Stadium showdown after Forest striker Dexter Blackstock stood on his foot, but Evans is optimistic he will be available.
“He’s been doubtful before but then had a good recovery and been able to play,” the Millers manager said.
Striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is unlikely to feature, with Evans revealing the 21-year-old has twice rejected loan moves in the last 10 days.
“He needs to do more. We’ve told him. There are players in front of him,” he said, “I still stick by my conviction that he’s a big talent. He’s a kid in a man’s body. He’s turned down the offers of a couple of loan moves because he didn’t feel those clubs were right for him to go on loan to.”
The last time the Millers played Preston at New York was in the 2014 League One play-off semi-final second leg which brought a 3-1 Rotherham victory in front of a full house.
Evans’ side are looking for their first points of the season tonight, while promoted North End have drawn one and won one of their opening two league fixtures.
“We had some great games against them in League One,” Evans said. “We’re looking to have another great game with them.”