ROTHERHAM UNITED caretaker-manager Darren Patterson has marked the card of his midfielders by saying that he regards the midfield of today’s opponents Cheltenham as the best in League Two.
“I have seen them three times and, for me, they have got the best midfield in this division,” said Patterson who has steered the side to three wins from four games since the departure of Andy Scott.
“I know they have had a dip of late but they won on Friday and Mark Yates (the manager) and his staff have done an absolutely fantastic job this season. They have signed well and got a good mixture of experience and energy. They have built a momentum and winning breeds confidence.
“They still have a great chance of going up via the Play-Offs but we are not exactly out of it although it is a tough ask at this stage of the season.
“It’s six points to Oxford in seventh place and I wouldn’t rule out anything in football, anything is possible,” he added. “Strange things happen in football. We have got to win the majority of our games and we have to aim to do that with the focus on this home game against Cheltenham which will be a tough one.
“If we don’t win the games then nothing is possible.”
Patterson said he told the players going into the Easter games that having two games means things can change quickly.
“Hopes can rise but hopes can also be damaged. We have to keep going for it because we go into this game still as one of the contenders although the outsiders.”
Cheltenham beat the Millers 1-0 at the end of December when they looked a solid, workmanlike unit with everyone knowing their job and carrying it out.
One of the midfield that Patterson mentioned, Marlon Pack, got the winner, a result which put the Robins up to second at that time. Pack linked up in midfield with Luke Summerfield.
A big boost for them also has been the return of young goalkeeper Joss Butland who is on loan from Birmingham and is being tipped as a future England goalkeeper. He was regarded as a major factor in their results in the first half of the season when they had the best defensive record in the division.
Patterson says the Millers will strive to take the game to their opponents. Mark Bradley faces another test on his injured ankle and Michael Raynes may be available after a hamstring strain.
The Millers have made today’s game Kids for A Quid with it applying to 16 and under whilst those aged under 12 have to be accompanied by an adult. They can pay at the gate but will need proof of age.