Attitude means as much as ability to boss Alan Stubbs as he bids to stop Rotherham United equalling an unwanted 26-year record tonight.
The manager says he can tolerate a player performing badly but that there’s no room in his team for someone lacking desire.
This evening, the Championship Millers are at second-placed Huddersfield Town where a defeat would see them open their season with five successive away losses for the first time since the 1990/91 campaign.
“The one thing I expect is 100 per cent commitment,” Stubbs said. “I want to see that players care. I want to see character. If they give me that, then if they have a poor game I can accept that all day long.
“Nobody can play brilliantly every week. I understand that. That’s life.”
Rotherham slipped into the drop zone last Saturday after giving up their unbeaten home run by losing 2-1 at home to Cardiff City.
Stubbs has already dropped midfield pair Scott Allan and Jake Forster-Caskey after being unhappy with their approach, and is considering more changes for tonight’s Yorkshire derby.
“An element of Scott not being in the squad against Cardiff was a reaction to what I saw against Blackburn (a week earlier),” he said.
“We just left him out of the squad to reflect on his performances. He’s someone we feel has a lot more to offer than he is showing right now. Jake’s in a similar situation. The shirt has to mean something.
“If you don’t take your opportunity, you can’t have any complaints. They have to take it (being left out) on board. Right now, we don’t have time for anyone feeling sorry for themselves.”
The Millers were in the old English Division Three in 1990 when they lost 3-1 at Bury, 3-0 at Leyton Orient, 2-1 at Grimsby Town, 2-0 at Fulham and 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers before drawing 0-0 at Bolton Wanderers on October 23. Their first win on the road didn’t come until February 2 1991 when they beat Brentford 2-1.
The Terriers are behind only Norwich City in the table, having won six and drawn one of their nine league fixtures.
“The biggest thing now is that you want to see character,” Stubbs added. “I’m expecting more of an impact from a lot of players, if I’m being honest.
“They shouldn’t take that personally. They get paid well. They are in a very fortunate position.
“They have a chance to go and do what a lot of people would love to do.”
Cptain Lee Frecklington is ready for his second start in three days after his recovery from a calf injury.
The midfield man is in line to lead the side again after starting his first match since opening day against Cardiff.
Striker Dexter Blackstock will have to settle for a place on the bench again after making his debut as a substitute last Saturday as he builds up his fitness.
Loan midfielder Tom Adeyemi is available after being ineligible to face parent club the Bluebirds.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool player Andrea Dossena has trained with the Millers but the club are unlikely to offer the 35-year-old Italian left-back a deal.
“He came in for a few days last week,” Stubbs revealed. “It’s very difficult to make a decision when you can’t actually see them in a game. There’re probably nothing in it.”