borN-AGAIN midfielder Ben Pringle, who was man of the match in the last game, could have been on his way out of Rotherham United at the turn of the year.
New manager Steve Evans has revealed that he heard a whisper in January that Pringle was on his way out at Rotherham and would be leaving.
“We were waiting for a call to say he was out-the-door and we’d have had him at Crawley because he’s a talented boy,” said Evans.
“He’s not quite as fit as he could be but I understand why he’s not match fit because he’s not been playing a lot.
“If you’re going to have a player like Ben Pringle in your team then you are going to have to let him express himself and accept that, at times, he is going to give the ball away. You can’t then go in the dressing room and smash his lights in for doing so.
“You have to accept that aspect of it (as a manager) if you are going to get more magic moments out of him.”
Pringle, signed from Derby County last summer, had been tipped as a key player for the Millers under Andy Scott. However, he could not force his way into the starting line-up and was a substitute.
He started only three games up to mid-October and then was out of the picture altogether until the beginning of March when he made an outstanding 45 minute appearance when sent on as a half-time subsitute at Barnet.
Since then he has kept his place in the side culminating in Saturday’s eye-catching performance in the win over Morecambe which earned a standing ovation when he was replaced in stoppage time.
“He worked hard to drift into good areas; made little sprints to get into certain areas whereas, perhaps in the past, he’d have jogged in there,” said Evans. “There’s more to come.”
Pringle, still only 23, has now started the last 11 games having previously started only three times.
The Millers have a friendly against Notts County at Parkgate this afternoon (2.30) and fans are free to attend.
Defender Richard Naylor will play after his knee injury which has sidelined him for two months whilst also featuring are Rhys Taylor, Mark Bradley, Sam Hoskins and Kieron Cadogan.