Rotherham United: Stubbs stays patient over Millers signings

Alan StubbsAlan Stubbs
Alan Stubbs
New boss Alan Stubbs is prepared to hold his nerve as he looks to build a Rotherham United squad capable of breaking into the Championship top 10 next season.

The 44-year-old, who took over the hot-seat earlier this month, is keen to start making signings as soon as he can.

But he’ll bide his time if that’s what it takes to land the players who will lift the Millers up the table after two successive survival campaigns in the second tier.

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“We’re working on it and, ideally, I’d like to bring people in as soon as possible,” Stubbs told The Star. “But they have to be the right people.

“Certain players who aren’t available now could become available further down the line. In three, four, five, six weeks, there could be better options out there for us. We must be patient.

Rotherham have only 11 contracted players as they wait on decisions over new deals from right-back Stephen Kelly and centre-half Kirk Broadfoot, so ambitious Stubbs, who has set his sights on a play-off push, will be a busy man through the summer.

“We’re making progress and there’s a lot of activity going on,” he said. “But in terms of being able to confirm anything we’re not quite there yet.”

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Anthony StokesAnthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes

It looks like Rotherham may miss out on former Celtic striker Anthony Stokes.

Stokes is a confirmed target, but the 27-year-old, who played under Stubbs at Hibernian last season, is wanted by a host of clubs and reports suggest he is close to agreeing a three-year deal with Blackburn Rovers.

Stubbs, renowned for his ability to spot a player during his two years in Scotland with Hibs, is being backed by chairman Tony Stewart and head of recruitment Gee Evans in his player hunt.

“I’m working closely with the chairman and Gee on recruitment,” the Liverpudlian said. “We’re all on the same page in that we’d do it now if we could, but we’re ready to wait that little bit longer if necessary.

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“Some clubs aren’t in a position to make decisions about their players yet.”

Meanwhile, the Millers have confirmed the exit of attacker Matt Derbyshire who is moving to Cyprus to play for Omonoia Nicosia, a First Division club managed by former Newcastle United boss John Carver.

A Rotherham statement said: “Following a meeting between the manager and Matt Derbyshire, Matt has decided that he wishes to take up an opportunity to join Omonoia Nicosia

“The club would like to place on record our thanks to Matt for his major contribution over the past two seasons when he has been a key player in our Championship campaigns.

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“Everyone at the club wishes Matt all the very best in this latest chapter of his career.”

Derbyshire, who was top scorer in both of his years at AESSEAL New York Stadium and had been offered new terms, tweeted: “I want to thank all the players at Rotherham United. It was such a pleasure.”