The strength of the subs’ bench and the influence of those who come off it will be significant factors in Rotherham United maintaining their momentum.
That’s the view of manager Steve Evans whose side will aim to create a season’s best unbeaten run when they face Notts County at the New York Stadium tomorrow.
They are eight unbeaten in the league and they have done that twice previously - in their first eight league games and then between November 2 and the Boxing Day win at Bradford City.
Evans knows that extending it with a win tomorrow could well increase the 11 point gap they currently have over seventh-placed Walsall who go to Preston tomorrow.
But the Millers boss knows it will be a totally different game to Tuesday night’s thriller at Deepdale for which both sides drew acclaim from neutrals for the quality of the football and the entertainment provided.
“When you are going to places such as Preston and/or one of the other top clubs, you don’t really have to speak too much, it’s obvious what’s ahead,” said Evans. “It’s different for games such as tomorrow.
“It’s when you have teams coming to you from near the bottom, that’s when you mustn’t let your guard drop and at this stage of the season teams in danger of going down will start scrapping for their lives.
“As we have seen, this group have a desire to succeed. But if we want or need to make changes then we can change it because we have a strong bench and players there who can affect things.
“That has happened in the past couple of games, Nicky Adams and Michael O’Connor have both been effective when going on and what’s on your bench and how they can help when they come on, will be key in the remaining games.”
There will be fitness checks on Wes Thomas, who has a thigh injury, and O’Connor who picked up a slight back strain in the reserves’ 0-0 draw at Doncaster on Wednesday and didn’t train yesterday. Craig Morgan came through the reserves outing, his first real action since January 1.
Notts have had some good results under Shaun Derry in his first management role but arrive second-bottom.