AFTER all their problems over fielding a settled defence recently, Rotherham United head off for their awkward FA Cup tie at Barrow with a centre-defence partnership that has played together for less than 70 minutes.
Johnny Mullins will return to the side at the heart of the defence where he will partner Jason Taylor, the midfielder who has figured in the back four in the last two games.
The first of those was at Northampton when he was asked to drop alongside Mullins after an injury to Michael Raynes after 25 minutes.
Taylor stayed in last week when his partner was Guy Branston who has been refused permission to play by his club Bradford City and so Mullins will step back in.
There is also a change at left-back, with Tom Newey returning because Jon Harley hasn’t got permission to play from his club, Notts County, although his loan has been extended to January.
It’s the sort of further disruption that manager Andy Scott could do without as he looks to bring some sort of cup cheer to the Millers in a competition that has been especially cruel to them in recent years - not least when facing clubs from the Blue Square Bet Premier level.
York City (last season), Luton Town and Forest Green Rovers have all knocked them out (and all by 3-0) in recent seasons.
Tag on 3-0 exits to Aldershot, Peterborough, Yeovil and Wimbledon as well in the past nine seasons - and when Rotherham scored three themselves, Mansfield got four!
A 3-2 win at Wealdstone in 2009 is the only cup solace since 2002 and Scott, who has studied the club’s recent record, offered up the thought that “the recent record isn’t very good” before adding with a chuckle ... “I think that’s an understatement.”
He added: “The players will be left under no illusion what to expect.”
“I know from my experience up there with Brentford (they lost 2-1 in 2008) what to expect and you will have a tight ground, crowd close to the pitch, making an atmosphere, and a home side who will be right up for it.
“They have a good home record and some decent play
ers who will be wanting to make a name for themselves.
“The gap has closed between League Two and the level below and there are some good sides down there - look at what Crawley have done this time and what Stevenage have done,” he said.
“This is a tough tie.”!