Rotherham United: No approaches for Ward as Jackett concentrates on Leeds derby

Boss Kenny Jackett has put transfer speculation about top scorer Danny Ward to one side to focus on Saturday's Yorkshire derby with Leeds United.

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 3:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:41 am
Danny Ward

The eight-goal striker could attract bids when the window opens in January, but Jackett is relaxed about the situation as the Millers prepare for the televised showdown at New York Stadium.

“It will be interesting to see whether any clubs come in for him or not,” the manager said. “We haven’t had any approaches yet.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’ve been pleased with Danny’s form and his goalscoring record is good in a side that is struggling for results.

“It’s not something we’re planning on. It’s not something we’re working towards. If the phone rings, we’ll deal with it then.”

Ward is out of contract in the summer but it is believed there could be an option to extend his deal by another year.

The bottom-placed Millers head into the Championship clash with play-off-chasing Leeds with Jackett, who took charge four matches ago, calling on his side to harness the power of the home supporters to end a run of 13 fixtures without a win.

Kenny Jackett

“It’s a terrific game, a local derby,” he said. “We have to use the enthusiam and energy that will be in the stands. We have to make it a high-tempo game.

“The players are definitely looking forward to it and determined to put on a good performance that can lead to us turning the tide in terms of results.”

Rotherham are having to wait before unveiling their head of recruitment because he is working for another club.

“There is no announcement at the moment,” said Jackett who is confident the new man will be in place before the window. “Work is in hand to make sure we make that key appointment soon.

“It’s taking longer than I hoped, but the relevant candidate is needed at his club. Recruitment has to improve. It has to be better, more detailed. From every angle, it has to improve.”

Filling the role is a crucial part of Jackett’s mission to reshape the Millers’ infrastructure.

“This club has been built on team spirit, organisation, character,” he said. “We have fallen behind slightly. We haven’t got the best of training grounds and I think a lot needs to improve at the club behind the scenes.

“The first thing that needs to improve is team performances, but it’s funny how, in any job or industry, if you get the basics right behind the scenes, it does follow through and bring results.”

Free-agent defender Jordan Spence is no longer training with Rotherham while he explores an opportunity at Birmingham City but the door remains open at the Millers’ Roundwood base.

“He might come back,” Jackett revealed. “He is just in talks with another club at the moment. There was no offer here but he has been invited to keep training with us with a view to that - that’s where he was at.

“He is speaking to somebody else at the moment. We’ll see how that goes. I will call him this afternoon and speak to him and see what his thoughts are, but the invitation is there for him to continue training here and working on his fitness.”

The Millers’ head of medical, Mike Preston, says centre-half Kirk Broadfoot is three months into a recovery programme that could take anywhere between four and seven months after back surgery.

“He’s progressing well,” said Preston. “He’s working hard and is keeping his body fat down and maintaining his strength. He has a moan now and again, but all the players do when they’re injured.”

Kenny Jackett