Rotherham United: Why Williams could come straight back for Millers
Ryan Williams has paved the way for a quickfire return to Rotherham United's starting 11 after responding in the 'perfect' manner to being dropped.
The winger, who made a flying start to the League One campaign, found himself on the bench for last weekend’s clash with Wigan Athletic, following a dip in form.
But he made a big impact as a second-half substitute against the Latics to thrust himself straight back into manager Paul Warne’s plans for this Saturday’s trip to Wigan Athletic.
“Willo had gone through a bit of bad patch. I thought he came on and did really well,” the boss said. “I named the team on Saturday rather than Friday for the first time. He wasn’t despondent. I think he knew it was coming.
“He reacted in the perfect way. That’s the kind of player we want at the club. He’ll be in my good thoughts for Bristol.”
The Millers lost 3-1 to leaders Athletic to slip to 12th in the table but received a boost as key men Kieffer Moore and Darren Potter lifted the disciplinary cloud hanging over them.
Striker Moore and midfield man Potter would have received one-match suspensions had either of them picked up their fifth yellow card of the season.
But they came through unscathed and the November 30 deadline for five-booking bans will have passed by the time of the Bristol encounter.
“Potter’s done well to avoid his,” Warne said. “I think refs like him because they see him as a football purist. If they see him ‘halve’ someone, he sort of gets away with murder.
“The way Wigan were playing Kieffer - every time Kieffer jumped, they were going down holding their faces - I was fearing he’d get booked.”
David Ball is also in contention to start at the Memorial Ground after putting a frustrating start to his Rotherham career behind him by marking his recall to the side with a stunning goal against Wigan. He curled the ball home from nearly 20 yards after latching on to Moore’s header.
“I tried to run off the back of Kieffer. Nine times out of ten, he wins the flick-on,” the ‘No 10’ said. “I’ve run off him and ultimately it’s gone into my path. I cut inside and saw the far corner so I went for it. You’re always happy to see it nestle in.”
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Warne’s move into the Rotherham hot-seat. He was made caretaker boss when Kenny Jackett quit after just 39 days and took the role permanently in April.
“I definitely feel a year older!” Warne grinned. “But I am still enthusiastic about bringing the good times back here. We’ve started some shoots of happiness. We’re trying to do everything we can to improve.”