Rotherham United: Signs look good for Millers boss

Millers boss Steve Evans
Millers boss Steve Evans
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He may not be a great fan of the transfer window halfway through the season but Steve Evans had an objective right through it.

That was to make sure the Rotherham United squad was stronger coming out of the month than the one which entered it back on January 1.

Evans - to whom the description ‘wheeler-dealer’ might fit rather snugly - has an unarguable case when claiming the Millers squad does look appreciably stronger.

It was certainly a busy time with six players coming in and two more staying on whilst five moved out and four others stayed out on loan.

But those numbers are a mere footnote when set against the overall tally that Evans has totted up in his time in charge which won’t reach its second anniversary until April.

In that time, Evans has made no fewer than FORTY-TWO signings, either permanent or on loan.

There’s a nice symmetry to the outgoings - 42 have departed or, if on loan, returned to their clubs.

The turnover gives some indication of the overhaul that Evans undertook in his first season when promotion was an absolute must and also of his desire to put together a strong squad that will be a force in League One - something that has happened faster than most expected.

Only three players (Mark Bradley, Ben Pringle and Alex Revell) survive from the squad on duty for his first game in charge on April 14, 2012.

Last season, there were 24 signings of which 11 were on loan with one of those (Joe Skarz) turned into a permanent signing.

This season, the last minute transfer deadline day capture of Nicky Adams last Friday took this season’s signings tally to 18.

Of those nine have been loan signings.

Of the 18 strong squad who celebrated the promotion-clinching win over Aldershot on the final day of last season, eight are no longer at the club.

It is further confirmation Evans is not a manager to let the grass grow under his feet.

“The chairman (Tony Stewart) has been magnificent in his support and he said to me ‘if you’re making changes, make sure we are stronger for the second part of the season’,” said Evans. “Can anybody say we are not stronger?”

“The signings give us for competition for places; the competition for places will give us better performances.

“We had a bench last Saturday where three or four could easily have been starting.

He said there were players disappointed not to be starting... “When you get a shirt, then you should respect that.”

Rotherham go to Colchester on Saturday.