Rotherham United: Quality counts as new boss Stubbs starts player pursuit

Alan Stubbs
Alan Stubbs

New boss Alan Stubbs outlined the kind of player he wants to bring to Rotherham United as he revealed he has already opened talks with possible recruits.

The 44-year-old took over the Millers hot-seat only last Thursday and working on his wanted list has been a big priority during his first week in charge.

“We want to sign exciting players, players with ability who, when the fans see them in action, will get people’s attention,” he said.

Stubbs has been inundated with phone calls from agents offering him players, but the Liverpudlian believes less is more as he looks to build a squad capable of improving on the last two seasons of Championship survival.

“Our approach is very much quality over quantity,” he said. “There has been contact with one or two potential targets.”

Stubbs has also made an approach to a club in his pursuit of another player.

Striker Danny Ward models the new Millers third kit

Striker Danny Ward models the new Millers third kit

Striker Anthony Stokes, who has been freed by Celtic, interests the Millers manager who had the 27-year-old on loan at Hibernian last season when the Scottish Championship outfit lifted the Scottish FA Cup for the first time since 1902.

New Hibs boss Neil Lennon said: “If I could get him here it would be fantastic, but that may be beyond us in terms of finances.”

Reports in Scotland also suggest Celtic’s attacking midfielder, Kris Commons, is on Stubbs’ radar.

The former Nottingham Forest and Derby County ace, 32, has scored 91 goals in 223 appearances for the Glasgow giants and has a year left on his contract. But the arrival of Brendan Rodgers as Parkhead boss has clouded the futures of some Hoops players who were regulars under Ronny Deila.

Stubbs described life since he and No 2 John Doolan were appointed at AESSEAL New York Stadium as “very busy but good”.

“I’ve been getting to know people behind the scenes,” he said. “Most of my time has been spent on the phone, to be honest. “A lot of agents have been in touch and players have been thrown our way.”

The new man has spoken with a few of the Millers players he has inherited from Neil Warnock and plans to call the others within the next 10 days.

“I haven’t wanted to interrupt their holidays,” he said. “It’s important for them to rest. In three weeks they’re back for training and the hardest part of the season.”

Meanwhile, Rotherham, who have unveiled a new lime third strip for next season, will play League Two Grimsby Town, managed by former Millers full-back Paul Hurst, in a pre-season friendly at Blundell Park on Wednesday July 20, kick-off 7.30pm.

Hurst made 497 appearances for the Millers between 1993 and 2008 and took the Mariners into the Football League by winning promotion from the National League last season.

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