ROTHERHAM UNITED: Tough task as Evans seeks a winning start

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STEVE Evans will aim to get his Rotherham United managerial career off to a winning start but will have to do so by ending the only unbeaten home record in the country.

It is over a year - March 1, 2011 to be precise, 3-0 against Bury - that Shrewsbury Town last tasted defeat at the New Meadow. They are the only club in the country still with a figure 0 in the losses column of the home section.

If the Millers were to upset the odds then it would keep alive those slim Play-off hopes which would delight Evans.

In the process it would enable him to give a helping hand to his former club Crawley because if Shrewsbury don’t win tomorrow and Crawley beat AFC Wimbledon, then Crawley will jump into third place.

But the Evans priority is maintaining the streak the side went on under the caretaker watch of previous assistant Darren Patterson who has now left the club.

The four wins from the last five - and the last three on the trot - have managed to get themselves back in contention for the play-offs although still very much the outsiders.

“We’ll give it a go, obviously, we’ve certainly not written off this season but we are still looking at three other teams slipping up,” said Evans. “But, in football, you never know.

“First of all it’s ourselves and we are up against a good side who haven’t lost at home for over a year,

“But, if we do go there and get three points then you get the clubs above you looking over their shoulders.”

He said the players have responded immediately on the training ground and taken on board what he wants, how they are expected to impose ourselves.

“We’ve talked about pride in your performance as a team and as a player and the pride we have as a group. This journey starts on Saturday at Shrewsbury and we will be having a go that’s for sure.”

One player ruled out tomorrow is central defender Michael Raynes. He tweaked a hamstring in the reserves’ 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

However, Ryan Cresswell was set to stay in the side having marked his third game back with the last gasp winner against Cheltenham on Monday.

Shrewsbury are on a five game unbeaten streak and have lost only one in 10 - one of them being a 2-1 home win over Evans’ Crawley at the end of February.

On Monday they edged a 1-0 home win over Bradford City with right back Jermaine Grandison scoring.

Two years after he left the Millers, Ian Sharps is still lynchpin in the Shrews defence and is the skipper.

Earlier this season, Shrewsbury won a FA Cup second round tie 2-1 against a Rotherham side reduced to 10 men after the dismissal of Marcus Marshall in the first half.