Rotherham United: No rest as Millers boss Steve Evans plans summer recruitment

Steve Evans tries on a sombrero for size ahead of the Leeds match
Steve Evans tries on a sombrero for size ahead of the Leeds match
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Manager Steve Evans will waste no time as he chases the new signings he believes can make Rotherham United a Championship force next season.

The Millers sign off their second-tier campaign against Leeds United at Elland Road this afternoon, having secured their survival against Reading on Tuesday, and Evans is already looking to the future.

“I think there will be less signings than last summer, but there will still be some signings. There are some we’d like to get done not next week but fairly quickly,” he said.

His aim next season, after the Millers’ first year back in a division he describes as the fifth best in Europe, is to make Rotherham a “midtable team looking upwards”.

Recruitment plans are already in place, and Evans added: “There will also be some signings that we probably have to work on. There will be some signings where our chairman and CEO need to go and get talking to other clubs and see if we can get agreements in place.”

Today is party time for a big Rotherham away following celebrating the club’s safety, despite a three-point Football League deduction, and Evans is joining in the fun, confirming he will wear sombrero, shorts and flip-flops at some stage after a social-media campaign calling for him to don the outfit.

But he is aware of a solemn tribute taking place at Elland Road and has pledged not to intrude on that.

“There are one or two local charities that are going to make some pounds and pennies from it, so that’s good. There will be a stage at Elland Road tomorrow where people will most likely see me in what I promised,” he said.

“(Watford striker) Troy Deeney has been tweeting his support for it. It’s not bad from the best player in the Championship, is it?

“We have to make sure tomorrow that we can have that little bit of fun, because I promised our fans, but at the same time we are aware that Leeds will have a minute’s silence for supporters who have passed away in the last 12 months. Steve Evans will be immaculately dressed and presentable out of respect for that.”

Neither team has anything other than pride to play for, but Evans wants his side to go out in style.

“It would be fantastic to end the season with a win at Elland Road,” he said. “At the same time, I know how difficult that is going to be. We’ll go there and be as strong as we possibly can team-wise. I’ve got the utmost respect for their manager, Neil Redfearn, a good man.”

Meanwhile, as expected, Rotherham have decided not to appeal against the Football League deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

A club statement read: “Having secured our Championship place for next season on the pitch on Tuesday night, the Board has decided not to appeal against the decision to deduct us three points. We still believe the decision to deduct three points for fielding a player as a result of an honest human error, where there was no intention to gain an unfair advantage, was disproportionate. Our mistake did not affect the integrity of this year’s competition, but if we had been relegated in the place of a team that had secured fewer points on the pitch over the season, that would have been a gross injustice.

“As the appeal is now academic, we have decided to support others who feel that it is time to change this particular rule rather than go through the appeal process. We would like to thank all of those at other clubs who offered us their support and sympathy during this process.

“Now we wish to draw a line under this matter and look forward to next season.”