ROTHERHAM UNITED: Millers boss takes his signings to 20

Left foot forward: Liam Ridehalgh is likely to make his Millers debut at left back at Exeter tomorrow.
Left foot forward: Liam Ridehalgh is likely to make his Millers debut at left back at Exeter tomorrow.
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STEVE Evans counted in his 20th signing as Rotherham United manager yesterday and will be delighted if he confirms one of those 20 as a permanent player any time soon.

The Millers boss brought in 11 players in the summer and has subsequently added nine loan signings at one time or another - numbers 19 and 20 arriving on deadline day yesterday.

Liam Ridehalgh became his third left back on loan this season whilst England Under 19 defender Jack O’Connell arrived from Blackburn Rovers and comes highly recommended as well.

But the deadline days news that probably sparked most excitement amongst Millers followers was that Lee Frecklington, the midfielder with a nose for goal, has extended his stay to January.

In addition, the club is aiming to make it permanent then with Millers chairman Tony Stewart and Peterborough Football Director Barry Fry understood to be set for further talks today.

Another boost for Millers fans after the dismay of Tuesday’s home defeat to Wycombe came with the news that talks have been underway with central defender Craig Morgan over a permanent contract.

Morgan was released by Preston, Rotherham snapped him up on a short term deal until January and he has been an excellent acquisition.

The club are hopeful of a successful conclusion to the talks and of tying something up fairly soon.

However neither Frecklington, back injury, nor Morgan, ankle, will be involved at Exeter tomorrow although it is hoped the midfielder will be ok for next Tuesday’s game at Accrington.

Ridehalgh and O’Connell will be in the squad and so too Johnny Mullins who was recalled after a bid to bring in a Championship defender on Monday fell through due to injury.

Ridehalgh has just ended a loan spell at Chesterfield where his debut was against the Millers in August as a late second half substitute the day after he joined them.

Evans had tried to get him previously.

He replaces Josh Morris who suffered a gashed knee, requiring stitches, and some other leg damage on Tuesday.

He is likely to be out of action for two or three weeks so it brought his loan to an early end.

He goes back to Blackburn whilst 18-year-old O’Connell comes the other way with Evans saying he is highly-rated.

“He’s big, strong, aggressive and has been close to Blackburn’s first team,” said Evans who said they had tried for another one from Blackburn.

He also made an inquiry about Bournemouth striker Wes Thomas, who had a brief spell at Crawley, but he has joined Blackpool.