ROTHERHAM UNITED: It’s coming together

Allowed to go: Oxford's ex-Rotherham defender Michael Raynes.
Allowed to go: Oxford's ex-Rotherham defender Michael Raynes.
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ROTHERHAM United followers have been urged not to get carried away,

Assistant manager Paul Raynor made the point and might have been inclined to reinforce it by adding... “one way or the other.”

The Millers go into tomorrow’s home game with Chris Wilder’s Oxford United with 11 points from their opening eight games.

Raynor admits that is less than they expected and issues a reminder that it is “still early days.”

He acknowledges, however, they have been inconsistent.

“We have hit the heights and people will get carried away but they shouldn’t because this is a real tough division,” he said. “Others are finding that out too.

“We have been a bit inbetween really, we’ve had our dips and we need to stitch a run together.

“It is about results and, whilst we’ve done reasonably well, we haven’t got the results we anticipated.”

“Next up we play an Oxford side who look contenders on paper but as teams find out, it’s not played on paper.

“It’s about getting it to gell and gelling it together. We’re still working at that.”

Raynor acknowledged that they are still finding the right formula, the formation that will get the best out of the players they have.

“We have had a couple of particularly bad results but you don’t become a poor team overnight,” he said.

“We have quality players in our squad and it is up to us to find ways of making this group of players effective. You tweak it but it does take time.

“It’s coming but to do it you need all your players fit and out there working effectively.”

Rotherham will have midfielder David Noble available again and, hopefully, Kari Arnason.

Raynor said the Iceland international is close to a return and would have a fitness test as late as Saturday morning to confirm whether he is available or not.

“He is important to us - he is a player who brings calmness when he’s at the back and adds creativity when hye’s in midfield,” said Raynor.

Left back Laurie Wilson will be missing. He had a scan on his knee injury this week.

“The scan was positive but there was some inflammation,” said Raynor. “He has done some training this week but we have to be careful.”

Oxford, managed by ex-M illers and Blades defender Chris Wilder, arrive on the back of five straight defeats.

“They have some quality players in their squad and we expect a tough game,” said Raynor.

“We said that going to Barnet would be tough despite the fact they had only got a point. We expected to win but, as it turned out, they played the best they have all season - and that was according to their manager, Mark Robson.”

Oxford should include Michael Raynes, the central defender signed by the Millers at the start of last season but persuaded to leave this summer by Evans who did not include him in his plans and wanted to bring in his own defensive signings.