ROTHERHAM UNITED: Millers look to respond after midweek blow

Chance to return: Nicky Hunt is back after injury.      Picture: Steve parkin
Chance to return: Nicky Hunt is back after injury. Picture: Steve parkin
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ROTHERHAM United’s defeat in midweek could serve as a ‘kick up the backside’ as they turn back to League Two matters at Port Vale tomorrow.

Manager Steve Evans acknowledged the JPT setback against York was a ‘reality check’ but he believed they will get better as a result.

“Certainly you can learn more from a night like that,” said the Millers boss. “Me and (assistant) Paul Raynor discussed it and we certainly learned more about certain individuals.

“One or two came in and did well; one or two didn’t. The thing is... if people don’t step up when they get a chance then they step out.

“There are always games where individuals do not perform. But if they do it two or three times then you look to move them on.

“The JPT was not our priority. That’s the league. Perhaps it’s not a priority for most of the clubs until you get through a couple of rounds then starting looking at it.

“But we still wanted to win and it was a disappointment. Now we look to get back at it tomorrow.”

They will do so without right back Mark Bradley who pulled a hamstring on Tuesday and is set to be out for up to a month.

It could offer an instant return for Nicky Hunt who came through 65 minutes - as did Dale Tonge - for the reserves in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Gateshead.

Hunt pulled a hamstring in the third pre-season friendly against Hearts and this was his comeback outing. Tonge wasn’t even able to play a pre-season game and this was his first action.

New signing Craig Morgan played for 45 minutes and he hasn’t been playing in any games at Preston as manager Graham Westley didn’t involve him.

So the viable option open to Evans for the right back vacancy appears to be Hunt who at least has had some game time with two and a bit friendlies.

“It’s a pity for Mark Bradley, he has done great, he’s a top professional and very seldom injured.”

Kari Arnason will be missing again on international duty. Johnny Mullins plays in centre defence.

Micky Adams’ side knocked Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere out of the JPT with a 2-0 win at Vale Park on Tuesday.

Vale, who will include Tom Pope, have won one and drawn one so far at home. They are seventh, two places behind the Millers on goal difference.