Utility ace Mark Bradley is backing his Millers teammate Scott Shearer to play an integral part in Rotherham United’s promotion challenge despite the goalkeeper’s recent dip in form.
Shearer and striker Alex Revell were left out of the starting line-up against Tranmere Rovers last week by manager Steve Evans after the duo produced indifferent displays at MK Dons earlier this month.
The Scot was at fault for the Dons second goal, prompting Evans to drop him and hand back-up shot-stopper Adam Collin his first league start versus Ronnie Moore’s Rovers outfit.
Collin has excelled in between the sticks, pulling off several good stops in Saturday’s narrow defeat at table-topping Leyton Orient. He is expected to keep the No 1 jersey when Rotherham entertain Colchester United this weekend, meaning Shearer will have to bide his time and wait for an opportunity to stake his claim for a first-team recall.
Right-back Bradley has told The Star: “I was left out at MK Dons. When you get dropped, it makes you raise your game and work even harder to get back in. Obviously you are disappointed not to be playing when you think you should be.
“You just have to work hard in training and hope the gaffer sees that and puts you back in. I’m sure Scott will do that. He will have been left out before. All you can do is come into training, work hard and hopefully get your form back. Scott is a good goalkeeper and he’s a big character here. I know what he’s like; he will just keep working hard.”
Shearer started in the reserves 3-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers yesterday which featured second-half goals from Michael Tidser (2) and Tom Eaves.
Collin’s display, meanwhile, at Orient impressed Evans.
“I signed Adam because he’s a good goalkeeper not because he’s a nugget and we always said if he earned the right to play then he would have the chance to shine,” said Evans.
Kevin Lisbie’s strike sentenced Rotherham to a third league loss in four outings. Evans charges have fallen to 10th in the standings and have failed to win at the New York Stadium since September 14, firing blanks in the defeats to Peterborough United and Swindon Town.
“We want to win all our games at home,” said Bradley. “We are eager to do well and impress in front of our home fans. We are doing well away from home. Hopefully if we can start doing well at home that’s a recipe for success.”
Tranmere, languishing in the lower reaches of the division, stifled Rotherham’s flair players and came away with a point. Bradley, who can also operate in central midfield, thinks the smaller clubs in the league are upping their game when they travel to South Yorkshire.
“We generate a great atmosphere at home,” he said. “Our pitch is amazing and teams are raising their game when they come here.
“It is difficult when teams put 10 men behind the ball which is what Tranmere did. They came for a draw and tried to grab a winner at the end. It is always difficult. We have just got to keep moving the ball around and move people out of position and try to get through that way.”
Asked if he is concerned about their home results, Bradley said: “I’m not worried. I think we will be okay. If we keep playing like we have been doing and keep trying to do the right things, I’m sure we will turn it around, especially with the backing we have got.”