Rotherham United: Alan Stubbs sticking to principles ahead of Millers' opening day

Rotherham United boss Alan Stubbs is refusing to compromise in the transfer market as the countdown to his Championship managerial bow nears its end.
Alan StubbsAlan Stubbs
Alan Stubbs

The 44-year-old takes charge of his first match in the English second tier on Saturday when the Millers open their 2016/17 campaign at home to Wolves.

He accepts his squad is short of numbers yet has reiterated his willingness to bide his time in his pursuit of new blood.

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“If I wanted to bring players in, I could bring 15 in tomorrow,” he said. “But they are not necessarily going to be the right players.

Rotherham have only 17 experienced professionals, and one of those, striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, is out injured until next year.

Stubbs has made four signings - midfielders Anthony Forde, Jake Forster-Caskey, Will Vaulks and goalkeeper Lewis Price - since his June 2 arrival from Hibernian, although the Millers missed out on strikers Lee Gregory and Tom Bradshaw despite making offers of £1.4 million and £500,000 to Millwall and Walsall respectively.

“I’m not feeling pressure to bring players in,” the manager said. “Bringing in quality takes time.

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“We are very aware that we need to bring bodies in. It’s not for the want of trying. We have brought in four already. Everybody knows we had a couple of offers in for other players, but they never materialised. We are carrying on the recruitment and looking for other players.”

Rotherham have lodged bids with at least two clubs and are waiting for decisions from the players concerned.

Stubbs, hoping for new faces this week, has until the end of August and the close of the transfer window to shape his squad.

He learned to hold his nerve when he took his first boss’s job at Hibs in 2014 and inherited only a handful of pros.

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“When I walked in to Hibs, there were six players, so it has taught me patience,” he said. “It was the same there. You have to wait for the right players.

“We did that in the end, and there are always one or two who surprise you.

The Liverpudlian twice led the Easter Road outfit to the Scottish Championship play-offs and lifted the Scottish FA Cup in his final match in charge.

“In a realistic world, we would have liked one or two more in. But, if you ask around any manager, it hasn’t been an easy window for anyone, and it’s no different for us.”

The Millers were scheduled to play an in-house training game last Saturday as they fine-tune their preparations for opening day.