MICHAEL O’Connor is set to get another opportunity to stake a place for a regular midfield spot in Rotherham United’s line-up.
And, endorsing his recent return to the side, manager Steve Evans said he would even be prepared to play Kari Arnason in another role if O’Connor continues in the same vein.
O’Connor, signed from Scunthorpe in the summer, was among those dropped after the home defeat by Southend a month ago but he has gone on as a substitute in the last two games.
“Michael O’Connor was really good when he got the final 15 minutes against Stevenage, he looked like the player we signed,” said Evans.
“Then look at what we saw when he got put on at half-time at Fleetwood; he was excellent.
“The biggest compliment I can pay him is that you did not know Kari Arnason was missing. That was the Michael O’Connor we know.
“If he’s back to where he was four weeks or so ago, then he can go back where he came from.
“But a Michael O’Connor playing like he has done, having taken on board what we want, and playing consistently like it, then he’ll stay in and we could put Kari Arnason somewhere else.
“This is a lad who is an international. He’s also a fighter and a top talent, a terrific player and if he plays how we want him to, then he’ll play.”
O’Connor is set to retain his place and start tomorrow at Dagenham and Redbridge with Arnason almost certain to miss out.
Definitely out is winger Jamie Devitt who injured a hamstring at Fleetwood and is back at Hull for treatment and it looks as if it will mean the end of his month on loan just a week into starting it.
Evans said he will ‘look within’ to fill the spot on the right and that could well mean a start for Gareth Evans who replaced Devitt for the second half on Tuesday.
“Gareth Evans was rubbish that previous time out and others are pushing to play but I don’t pick on favours and I had no hestiation in putting him on at Fleetwood and he he did well.
“People may talk about bringing someone in but, right now, let’s focus on who we have here,” added the Millers boss.
Rotherham take a five match unbeaten run to east London, a run which began with fourth straight wins - a winning sequence last achieved in November 2009.
They come up against a Dagenham side who pulled off an excellent 3-2 win at Oxford United in midweek having recovered well from their 4-0 FA Cup mauling at Bournemouth.
John Still’s side have won two and drawn four of their eight home games. They beat Rotherham 3-2 in the corresponding fixture last season.