Millers are walled in

Consistent: Dale Tonge has been a mainstay of the Millers defence
Consistent: Dale Tonge has been a mainstay of the Millers defence
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NEVER mind building for the future Rotherham United right back Dale Tonge has destruction in his mind ahead of tomorrow’s match with Port Vale at Don Valley Stadium.

The Bolton-on-Dearne born defender has had a steady season as an almost ever-present in the Millers defence.

But he says it’s time the team broke down the ‘brick wall’ that they’ve come up against since a red-hot start to the campaign saw them live up to their billing as promotion favourites.

He said: “It has been a very frustrating time. We were flying and then we had that 10 match run when we couldn’t get a win.

“It’s like we keep coming up a brick wall but I think once we get a couple of wins, like every other team, the confidence will start flowing and we’ll be able to go on a run.”

Much has been made of manager Andy Scott’s attention to detail on the training pitch and once again the Millers players have been well prepared for their next opposition.

While accepting that the players need to implement the manager’s wishes more often on the pitch Tonge says one simple improvement could make all the difference to the Millers’ results.

He said: “We’ve got to start matches better, get them on the back foot in the first half.

“We’ve done well when we’ve scored the first goal of the game this season. Port Vale will come and make it hard for us; they’ll put plenty of men behind the ball but it will be down to how we do on the day.”

Rotherham are expected to start Scott Griffiths at left back and move Sam Wood to his favoured position of left midfield for the Vale match.

Richard Naylor may also make his debut at centre-half after impressing the manager during training this week with his experience.

Scott said: “Richard Naylor is pushing for a start. He’s a steadying influence. Talks to people in a positive way, had lots of knowledge he can pass on and he’s a good player. He’s a good addition to squad.”

Vale, in what will be former Sheffield United boss Micky Adams’ first return to Sheffield since leaving the Blades, are likely to recall goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson but top scorer Marc Richards faces a late fitness test.