ROTHERHAM United manager Andy Scott has stressed the value of the club’s fitness regime and also the importance of players being ready and prepared to play even if they haven’t been involved for some time.
The Millers welcomed back front player Gareth Evans after injury on Monday whilst defender Troy Brown found himself thrust back into action after a months out of contention.
Evans had been out of action five weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage at former club Bradford City in November.
His return on Boxing Day, at his other former club Macclesfield, came after he had missed four matches and his return was somewhat quicker than expected.
“He has trained well and it is a credit to him and the fitness group and the medical staff for getting him in a position to train for a week so that he’s match-fit to go in and perform,” said Scott.
“Initially, we thought he might be out for quite a while but there’s been a lot of hard work and that’s credit to him and everyone else.
“He has been pounding in the gym, been in the pool and we have a method of how we get people fit and of keeping them fit and that’s what we need. It’s an important part of our preparation.
“We need people to be able to step in and be match ready and that was the same with Troy Brown.”
He was required to go on ten minutes into the second half at Moss Rose after central defender Johnny Mullins was forced to go off suffering with problems with his vision.
“It’s some time since Troy played in the team but he’s trained ever so hard recently. You never know when you will be required but you have to be ready to go in.
“He’s taken everything on board that we’ve asked and he’s seen the defenders we’ve brought in and what they have been asked to do.
“The thing is we know he can do it and he’s got other qualities as well. His performance in the second half will give him a lot of confidence.”
Welsh Under 21 international Brown, signed from Ipswich in the summer, had not kicked a ball in the first team since October 1 when he was taken off at half-time at Port Vale.
Since then he had been substitute just twice until Monday.
He was on the bench as defensive cover. On loan Guy Branston requires further treatment on a foot injury and is set to go back to his club Bradford City for that treatment whilst Ryan Cresswell is still on his way back from an ankle injury although he is close to a return.
The 0-0 draw at Macclesfield was Rotherham’s first goalless game this season and the first one since Andy Scott’s first game in charge at home to Hereford last April.
It means the Millers are on a run of one defeat in their last nine league matches and are unbeaten in their last five away games in League Two as they head for second-placed Cheltenham on Friday.
Rotherham’s draw at Macclesfield on Monday means they haven’t lost on any of their seven league trips to Moss Rose. They did lose their first ever visit there, 4-0 in the FA Cup in 1987.