Rotherham United: Millers pick on present, not past

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
Have your say

Reputations will count for nothing as Steve Evans selects his first Rotherham United side as a Championship manager.

The Millers begin life in the big time tomorrow at Derby County.

And No 2 Paul Raynor says Evans is prepared to upset players in his quest to make the club a force in the second tier after back-to-back promotions.

“It doesn’t matter what they’ve done previously, where they’ve played, what clubs they’ve played for,” Raynor said.

“If they deserve a shirt on Saturday and it fits in with the way we want to play, that’s who’ll get the shirt.

“It’s not about who they are, egos, it’s about making sure what’s right for Rotherham United, and that’s always been the case.

“We expect people to work hard, we expect people to work in the style we want to work in, and the environment we want to work in.

“It’s served us very well up to now and we certainly won’t change.

“It won’t matter who they are, who we’re going to upset, we need to do the best for the football club and that’s what we’ll do.”

The Millers wrapped up their pre-season campaign on Tuesday by impressing in spells during a 3-1 defeat against Premier League Leicester City, and Raynor added: “We’re in a good place. We’re playing in the Championship.

“I think if somebody had said that to us two seasons ago, we’d have snapped their hand off and been absolutely delighted.

“We’re still working hard, there’s things we’ve still got to look at.

“We’ll be looking at those and trying to improve and be workmanlike and solid at the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Derby manager Steve McClaren was full of praise for the job Evans has done for the Millers.

McClaren, who has just signed a new three-year contract, said: “Going into the first game is like entering the unknown. The game against Rotherham is a big test for us. They’ve done brilliantly. Steve Evans has done a great job up there.

The Rams missed out on promotion to the top flight in last season’s play-off final, and McClaren added “We have the belief we can ‘go again’ this year. Every Championship season is tough. We hope we can produce the same performances. This season is a bigger challenge for us in some ways. We have the belief and spirit.

“I think everyone is excited for the season; I can sense it. There’s a determination in the air from the players to go one better.”

Right-back Frazer Richardson and winger Febian Brandy have been injured and are likely to miss out tomorrow for Rotherham.

Left-back Forsyth is ready to fill in at centre-back for the Rams in place of Jake Buxton. Buxton, Zak Whitbread and Mark O’Brien are injured, with O’Brien already ruled out tomorrow.