Rotherham United: Kenny Jackett keen to harness fan power, and former Millers boss Alan Stubbs speaks

Kenny Jackett
Kenny Jackett

Kenny Jackett believes the fervour of Rotherham United fans could be a key weapon in the club’s battle to stay in the Championship.

Jackett took the hot-seat late last month, with the Millers bottom of the table and supporters disaffected by the reign of Alan Stubbs who was sacked after one win in 13 league games.

And the new manager is calling on his side to produce the type of displays at New York Stadium which will have followers in full voice again.

“Your home form should be good,” he said, “You have to capitalise on a passionate crowd. There is one here. As with any crowd, they react to what happens on the pitch.”

Rotherham lost 3-1 at home to Preston North End in the final match before the international break, but have generally shown a significant improvement since the former Wolves boss assumed control.

“It is our responsibility to put on a performance, to lift the crowd, to give them optimism and something to be passionate about,” Jackett added. “It starts with us and we know if we put the right performance on the crowd will get behind us.”

Alan Stubbs

Alan Stubbs

Meanwhile, Stubbs is hoping prospective employers focus on his time in charge at Hibs rather than his short spell in South Yorkshire as he seeks to return to management.

Stubbs and his backroom team of John Doolan and Andy Holden lasted only four and a half months with Rotherham but, before that, won the Scottish FA Cup and reached the Scottish Championship play-offs during two years north of the border.

“When you look back, we didn’t do too bad at Hibs,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News. “The second job just didn’t materialise the way we wanted it to.

“I’ve done well at one club and at another club, after 13 games ... I’m not going to say anything bad about the club - you draw a line under it and move on.

“I’d like to think people would be able to look at my overall body of work rather than just the last 13 games.

“Things can work out differently at different clubs. Rotherham’s a club where a lot of managers have come and gone. It’s a tough job in terms of competing against the other teams in that league.

“I didn’t want to get sacked so early, obviously, but whether it was right or wrong, people will always have different opinions.

“What’s happened has happened but me and my staff will move on. We’ll get another opportunity and we’ll go again. It’s not dented my enthusiasm.

“If anything, it makes you stronger, because all you want to do is get back in as quickly as possible and right the wrongs. It hasn’t affected my confidence at all. All it does is make you reflect on certain aspects. You look back at it, question everything and look at where you might have made any mistakes which you can learn from. You just have to take it on the chin.”

Stubbs has taken a holiday since his Millers departure and is now open to offers.

“I plan to relax, go and watch a bit of football, get to a few different clubs, watch some coaching and see how different managers go about their business to try and build up my knowledge,” he added,

“Then it’s just a case of waiting for an opportunity to come. I’m open-minded about where I go next. Me and my staff still fully believe in our ability and still feel that we can do a really good job.

“I’m really positive about the next job and what that could entail. If we feel it’s the right opportunity and an exciting project, then it’s something we’ll look to pursue, but it’s important that we don’t just jump into the first thing that comes along unless we’re sure it’s the right thing.

“Rotherham wasn’t necessarily the first thing that came along, but that experience makes you really think about every aspect of what you’re going into. It will make us think even more carefully about the next one.”

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