Rotherham United: Millers striker a changed man

Millers striker Alex Revell
Millers striker Alex Revell
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How things change. Perhaps Alex Revell may be reflecting on that as he prepares to lead Rotherham United’s attacking charge back in League One after a six season absence.

A year ago, with everything set up for a big promotion bid in League Two, Revell found himself second choice as the ‘target-man’ striker. Indeed, when interest materialised from another club, Revell could have left but, instead, chose to stay and fight for his place.

That place, 12 months ago, was occupied by Kayode Odejayi, one of the new signings and fresh from being named as Colchester’s Player of the Year up in League One.

Now, Odejayi finds himself out of the picture altogether, transfer-listed and not part of the squad during pre-season along with winger Lionel Ainsworth, in the same boat as him.

Revell, second-choice last August, fought his way into the side to the extent that he became a key figure and a much improved one too despite a goal return that was pretty low - just six in all. But he became an attacking focal point.

Now, he sets out in League One with, it appears, his confidence having risen and looking capable of ‘being a handful’ for opposing defences.

However, the goal situation remains but Revell is confident and has something to fall back on.

“I did get 16 goals for Orient in League One and I like to think that but for certain circumstances, I would have got 20,” says the man they call ‘Revs’.

“I did not get enough goals last season and I was disappointed they were missing. But I do have the ability to get them.”

There was a debate last season that Revell was doing a tremendous amount of work for the team outside the penalty area but wasn’t inside it often enough. He wasn’t around in the danger area or at the far post for the crosses coming in.

That may be something that may be stressed as a greater priority this time whilst not losing his prodigious work for the team.

“I have to be more sensible about my workrate and if I’m not getting on the end of things then, obviously, that’s not good,” he said.

“It’s nice to get goals, of course, but I’ve felt good all pre-season and feel I’ve hit the ground running quite early. Also, we have created a lot of chances in pre-season games.

“I feel I’ve got a bit of a spring in my step but everyone’s excited at the new challenge ahead and the fans, naturally, are excited after promotion.”

The Millers will wait for fitness confirmation on Daniel Nardiello and new signing Matt Tubbs as they prepare for Saturday’s opener at Crewe Alexandra with Rotherham due to take a good following to Gresty Road.