New Millers caretaker boss Andy Liddell has nine games to resurrect the club's promotion hopes.
New Millers caretaker boss Andy Liddell has nine games to resurrect the club's promotion hopes.

ROTHERHAM United chairman Tony Stewart says the decision to part company with Ronnie Moore was made to give the club the best chance of achieving promotion this season.

Moore officially left the club with assistant Jimmy Mullen on Tuesday after a weekend of speculation following the hefty 5-0 defeat to Chesterfield on Friday night which saw the Millers drop five points off automatic promotion.

And Stewart has put his faith in the team headed by Andy Liddell and featuring Paul Warne, Nicky Eaden and Andy Dibble to re-ignite the promotion push over the final nine games of the campaign.

Stewart said: “We had to do something with nine games to go.

“It’s not about actions or words, it’s about results and the results weren’t right.

“We didn’t just look at the last game, we looked at the statistics, 12 points from the last 11 matches, and felt it wasn’t what would get us where we want to be.

“I’m a risk taker, not a gambler.

“We’re a few points adrift but there are nine games to go and automatic promotion is not impossible.

“This move has been taken now to give us the best chance of success this season.

“No promises have been made but it’s definitely an opportunity.

“These three lads wouldn’t normally have this opportunity so let’s see what they can do.”

Moore brought Liddell to Rotherham in 2009 but he made just five appearances before suffering an Achilles problem that would see him call time on his career.

The former Barnsley, Wigan and Sheffield United midfielder was handed a fitness coach role at the club following his retirement and has now been tasked with a caretaker manager role until the summer.

Making up his managerial team are player-fitness coach Warne, goalkeeping coach Dibble and former Barnsley team-mate Eaden, who joined the club on Tuesday.

Stewart has told Liddell he has the opportunity to land the job permanently should the next few weeks go well.

He said: “Andy’s a very confident person and he, Paul Warne and Andy Dibble are people who have worked with the squad and coached them on a daily basis.

“I’ve seen the way Andy works, his organisation, discipline and knowledge.

“There was an opportunity to utilise the current coaching staff and we felt we had to make that decision. “They can’t wait to get stuck in and we know they’ll put the effort in.”

Rotherham dropped out of the play-off places following wins for Stevenage and Torquay United on Tuesday night.

Liddell’s first task is the Friday night trip to Lincoln City before the clash with fellow promotion chasers Shrewsbury Town at Don Valley on Tuesday night.

Both will be seen as must win games, especially with both sides having won just once in their last five matches.

Liddell and his team were kept away from the media spotlight as they took charge of preparations for the first time.

The 37-year-old will speak to the media for the first time later today (Thursday).

Stewart believes Liddell and his team are happy with the players at their disposal but insists there is the possibility of the club entering the loan market before the window closes later today.

He said: “I think the initial feeling is that we have a good team and they can work with what they’ve got.

“But if they see fit to change anything before the window shuts on Thursday, we can discuss it.

“If they need more tools, they’ll come and see us.”

Stewart wished Moore and Mullen well for the future.

He said: “We’ve parted amicably and both Ronnie and Jimmy will remain friends of the club.

“The history they’ve had here stands them in good stead.

“It was sad because Ronnie is a very nice guy, we worked closely and well and had a good understanding.

“He took the decision like a gentleman.

“I’m sure they’ll go on to pastures new but things were just not working.”