Rotherham United: Millers boss Steve Evans ponders deal for Joe Newell

Joe Newell in action against FSV Mainz. Picture: Chris Etchells
Joe Newell in action against FSV Mainz. Picture: Chris Etchells
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Boss Steve Evans is weighing up whether to make a move for Rotherham United trialist Joe Newell.

Newell, who is under contract at League One Peterborough United, played at left-back for the Millers in their 2-1 win over Bundesliga outfit FSV Mainz at the weekend as Joe Mattock recovers from an ankle problem.

Joe Newell

Joe Newell

The 22-year-old set up the winning goal for Jordan Bowery against the Germans, and Evans is well aware of the 22-year-old’s qualities, having kept tabs on him last season.

“We like him,” the Millers manager said. “He’s a different kind of player to what we’ve got. He’s technically fantastic. He works really hard and you can play him anywhere on the left side or central.

“In many ways he can be an asset, but we just have to look at the entirety of our squad and see if he is going to play a meaningful part because he does belong to another football club.

“The first person I have to speak to, of course, is our chairman (Tony Stewart).”

Jordan Bowery scores from Joe Newell's pass

Jordan Bowery scores from Joe Newell's pass

Newell, who has played more than 100 times for Posh, has been training with the Millers but was back at his parent club yesterday for their photo-call day.

He made a steady debut against Mainz, culminating in a raking long pass from which Bowery scored in the 89th minute.

“You have to say his pass for the winning goal was the pass of the day really,” said Evans. “It’s gone 50 yards and it’s gone right on to the toe of Jordan for him to run on and score a goal.

“The kid’s been training with us for a few days, so we’re grateful to (Peterborough chairman) Darragh MacAnthony for allowing Joe to come and spend some time with us.

“We’ve tracked him for quite a bit of last season. He’s such a talented boy. He can play left-back, and then you’ve seen us push him a bit further forward.

“I think he was finding the pace a little bit tougher than what it is when he’s been at Posh and they play a different way. He’s done very well.”

Aidy White can play at left-back but the pace and penetration of the summer signing have been so eye-catching in pre-season in a left-midfield role that the Millers would prefer to utilise him further forward.

Today, Rotherham play a private game at Sunderland where right-back Lewis Buxton will see his first action since his June arrival and forward Chris Maguire will step up his bid for match fitness.

Attacker Danny Ward missed the Mainz clash after picking up an ankle knock early in last Wednesday’s match against Leicester, but Evans is hoping to see him back in training today.

“Danny will train by Tuesday/Wednesday, I’m told, so that’s good news,” he said.

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“Lewis getting back fit is fantastic news. He trained on Friday. Even on his first day back he was fantastic.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether they come from Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield Monday - we know we play them on a Friday! - because when there are players available of the quality of Maguire, Mattock and Buxton then we bring them here.”

Mattock has been out for a fortnight but Evans hasn’t given up on the ex-Owls man being available for Saturday’s opening-day Championship encounter with MK Dons at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

“We think he might have a chance,” he said after Saturday’s victory. “He’s probably 50-50 at this stage, but he was 90-10 against a week ago.”

Chairman Stewart says the club are still in negotiations over plans to extend the capacity of New York from it’s present 12,000.

Meanwhile, former Millers striker Adam Le Fondre has joined Wolves from Cardiff City on a season-long loan, with the West Midlands side paying most of his wages, believed to be in the region of £16,000 a week.