Rotherham United: Steve Evans’ eyes fixed on Millers’ August fixtures

Millers manager Steve Evans
Millers manager Steve Evans
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Boss Steve Evans has banished all derby thoughts as he concentrates on making a flying start to the Championship campaign with Rotherham United.

The Millers will be 12 matches into their season by the time South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday come calling at AESSEAL New York Stadium on October 24.

Flashback to 2014 as Michael O'Connor scores in the 2-2 draw with MK Dons

Flashback to 2014 as Michael O'Connor scores in the 2-2 draw with MK Dons

And Evans wants to make sure his side are in good shape by then after targeting a midtable finish to their second year in the second tier.

“It’s a game that a lot of supporters will look for, but for us it’s a long way away,” he said.

“Our focus will be on the first five or six fixtures of the season. That’s what our pre-season work will go into.”

Rotherham, who stayed up last season despite a three-point deduction, face newly-promoted teams in their first two home games.

August 8 opening day sees them entertain MK Dons, with Preston North End up next at New York. Inbetween is a Saturday August 15 trip to Nottingham Forest.

“The most important thing is that we kick off at New York,” Evans said. “MK Dons have worked really hard for five or six years and under Karl Robinson have climbed up to the Championship, so it’s a massive day for them.”

In other August fixtures the Millers travel to QPR and host Fulham, while the Hillsborough return against the Owls comes on March 5.

At Christmas, Evans’ men at home to Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day and away to Fulham on December 28, and the first fixture of 2016 is a trip to Preston North End.

Evans added: “It’s interesting that our first two home games are against two newly-promoted teams, which are great occasions, and we kick off with two good games on the road against Nottingham Forest and QPR as well.”

MK Dons were Rotherham’s opponents in the final home match of the regulation League One 2013/14 season, when a last-minute Alex Revell goal secured a 2-2- draw.

The Millers went on to beat Preston in the tw0-legged play-off semi-final, ultimately sealing their Championship place by winning the play-off final against Leyton Orient at Wembley.

Ex-Miller Rob Milsom will play in League Two next season with Notts County after signing a two-year deal.