THE fact that Rotherham United’s game at Accrington on Tuesday got within half-an-hour of kicking off when it was washed out, meant both sides had already revealed their starting line-ups.
Rotherham would have been unchanged from the side which beat Oxford 3-1 meaning no starting place again for striker Daniel Nardiello who arrived as one of the major signings of the summer.
He started all the first five league games but the last time was in the 6-2 defeat at Port Vale on September 8 and he hasn’t been in the starting XI on the five teamsheets handed in since (including Tuesday).
It’s the sort of omission of a potential matchwinner always likely to raise a query from a club’s followers. Millers fans have been doing so.
Manager Steve Evans says he’s spoken with the striker and that he believes in him.
“He’s a terrific pro but he’s just got to work harder and deliver more consistency to be in the team,” said Evans.
“Players get picked on performances. If a striker gets a hat-trick one week, he gets picked the next - he could be ineffective in training but you believe in his performance.
“But as the season unfolds, then what happens during the week is also a consideration.
“Daniel hasn’t done enough at the minute to be in our starting line-up but we believe in him or he would not be here.”
With the ball ‘sticking’ on surface water on the pitch at Accrington, ref Chris Sarginson had little option but to call it off, particularly with more heavy rain forecast.
However, after another brief shower, no more fell and shortly before 9pm - with the ground deserted - the groundsman and a colleague took a ball onto the pitch and passed it about with no hindrance!
The irony is that they have a superb new pitch but it simply couldn’t contain the late deluge. Locals say last season’s pitch would have been waterlogged hours earlier!