Rotherham United: Eric Black too busy to think about manager’s job as Millers sift through applications

Eric Black
Eric Black

The applications are mounting up, but the man currently filling the hot-seat hasn’t even thought about whether he’d like to be the next manager of Rotherham United.

While more than 50 potential candidates have been approaching the Millers since Monday’s shock departure of Steve Evans and No 2 Paul Raynor, caretaker boss Black has been too busy preparing his side for tomorrow’s televised home clash with Burnley to focus on anything else.

“I’ve not even considered it, I’ve got to be honest. I’ve not considered it one iota,” he said. “My head’s not really been lifted for the last 24/48 hours, preparing training, and obviously we’re a couple of people down.”

Earlier this week, former Owls head coach Stuart Gray was the bookmakers favourites for the role, but it may well be the bookies have got it wrong on this occasion.

Ex-Leeds boss Neil Redfearn is known to be interested and is a serious contender, while The Star understands that one-time Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones could see it as an opportunity to return to the game, although, for now at least, he might be regarded as an outsider.

Northampton boss Chris Wilder is a former Rotherham player who could be open to an approach from his old club, but his lack of experience at Championship level would work against him.

Paulo Di Canio’s interest is not reciprocated by the top brass at AESSEAL New York Stadium, while Neil Warnock, once manager of Sheffield United, has ruled himself out of the running.

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The Millers will narrow down the list before conducting interviews, probably at some stage during the international break which follows the showdown with the Clarets.

Black, who joined Rotherham as first-team coach in the summer, watched the Millers win their last two matches, against Cardiff and Birmingham, before Evans’ exit and is keen for the run to contiunue.

“I’ve reiterated this to the players, I don’t want what’s happened to derail what have been two fantastic performances,” he said. “I won’t allow that to happen on my watch.

“It’s very unusual that you get back to back wins in the Championship so we want to try to make that a third against an extremely competitive Burnley side.”

Black, who has managerial experience at Motherwell and Coventry and has also had three other spells as a stand-in elsewhere, said of Evans’ parting: I knew an hour or so after Steve was told. I’ve been in football for 35 years now and there’s not a lot of things that surprise me anymore.

“The important thing is that the club need to move on. That’s the way it works. We have to move on.”