Millers must win as they face rivals for play-offs

Close eye: Gareth Evans played his first 90 minutes for three months
Close eye: Gareth Evans played his first 90 minutes for three months
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ROTHERHAM United manager Andy Scott would love to get the better of his Oxford counterpart Chris Wilder again in tomorrow’s vital clash - when he did so on a previous occasion, it earned Scott a contract at Sheffield United!

“I’ve to thank Chris for helping me get the chance with the Blades,” chuckled Scott.

“Dave Bassett (Blades boss then) had got me up from Sutton United in 1992 to have a look at me and I played a trial against Rotherham at Millmoor.

“I was on the left and Chris was the opposing right back and I went past him a few times - perhaps he let me - but I played well and Bassett offered me a contract after that game,” he added.

Certainly Scott’s Millers would love to emulate that feat tomorrow against Wilder’s Oxford and Scott acknowledges it is a must-win game for his side.

“People talk about must-win games and this really is one for us,” said Scott, once an Oxford player and the last Oxford goalscorer at their old Manor Ground.

“If we do then we go two points behind them and right back in it but if they were to win then the gap goes to eight points and it would be a tall order from there,” admitted the Millers manager.

“I’m confident we can go there and win. We showed on Tuesday what we can do and we were the better side against Torquay.

“But it’s about getting across that line and there are fine margins between being up there and being where we are.

We’re moving the ball better, making chances and had 12 shots on target on Tuesday but it’s about finishing things,” said Scott who believes the side are playing better now than at any stage.

Yesterday, 19-year-old striker Sam Hoskins signed on loan from Southampton to the end of the season and Scott said they had been keeping tabs on him for some months.

“People speak very well of him, he’s quick, sharp and desperate to come here and have a chance of league football,” said Scott.

“He can play anywhere along the front line but he’s the sort of predatory striker who will be in there to finish things.”

Meanwhile Wilder has suffered a blow this week with the loss of key midfielder Lee Holmes to Swindon.

They are already without top scorer James Constable when he completes a three match ban whilst right back Damien Batt is starting a ban after his sending off in last Saturday’s defeat at Bradford City.

The Millers have no fresh injury worries (although Richard Naylor remains sidelined) but Scott says he will monitor certain individuals with a close eye on Gareth Evans after he completed his first 90 minutes for three months on Tuesday.