Rotherham United: Millers look to step up recruitment

Danny Ward
Danny Ward
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Boss Neil Redfearn is looking to reinforce his squad before a shortage of players hits Rotherham United’s battle for Championship survival.

The Millers had only 20 men available for the visit of QPR last Saturday and the Millers manager knows he has to bolster his options as soon as possible.

His side remain above the drop zone, but the manager admitted: “We are down to the wood. With 11 starters and seven subs, that leaves us only two others.”

Redfearn, who has made only one change to his starting line-up in three matches, blamed fatigue as the Millers conceded three second-half goals in a 3-0 defeat against the Hoops after dominating the opening 45 minutes.

“We are still in a position where we need points. We have got to put them back together and push the transfers through,” he said.

Rotherham hope to receive international clearance for striker Luciano Becchio before this weekend’s trip to Cardiff City and centre-half Farrend Rawson was due back at their Parkgate training complex yesterday after a hamstring problem.

Danny Ward scores against Brighton

Danny Ward scores against Brighton

But they are still without injured trio skipper Lee Frecklington, Leon Best and Stephen Kelly, while Lewis Buxton is ruled out by a contractual issue and Greg Halford and Jordan Bowery aren’t under consideration after being told they can leave.

In addition, loan left-back Harry Toffolo has returned to Norwich City and Chris Maguire is likely to head out again after the expiry of his loan spell at Oxford United.

Toffolo, aged 20, played seven times for the Millers, including a stunning debut against Reading, but hadn’t featured since early December.

His last major contribution was a goal-saving tackle at Leeds United on November 21 as Rotherham won for the first time under Redfearn.

Neil Redfearn

Neil Redfearn

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The Millers manager hopes to strengthen in midfield and possibly add another striker as well as Becchio in this month’s transfer window.

Rotherham withdrew striker Danny Ward against the Hoops after the break after he received a kick but his substitution was also about protecting the legs of a key player who has started the last 10 matches, many of them in a lone-striker role.

“He took a whack to the top of his foot,” Redfearn revealed.

Luciano Becchio.

Luciano Becchio.

“To be fair to Danny, he’s put a right old shift in and he’s done that lone striker’s role as well when we’ve played one up top. I just thought he looked a little bit tired.”

Ward and strike partner Matt Derbyshire had both been on the scoresheet in last Tuesday’s 2-0 home triumph over Brighton which ended the Seagulls’ unbeaten league away record stretching back to the start of the season.

“Matt and Danny played well against Brighton and they played with energy first half against QPR,” Redfearn added. “But we just didn’t have that cutting edge.”

Harry Toffolo

Harry Toffolo