Relegated Rotherham United have been warned about the size of the challenge facing them next season by the player who knows all about League One.
Millers winger Anthony Forde is no stranger to the third tier, having played in the Walsall side which reached the 2016 play-offs.
He believes Paul Warne’s squad can thrive at a lower level after three years in the Championship, but is under no illusions about how hard life will be.
“League One is still a really tough league and just because we are dropping down doesn’t mean it is going to be easy,” he said. “There are some good teams, so we will have to be on our money every week.”
Forde’s form for the Midlands outfit won him a move to South Yorkshire last June and he has had a chequered first season at New York Stadium.
He found himself out of favour with the manager who signed him, Alan Stubbs, but has featured more under Warne, making 32 league appearances in total.
The 23-year-old believes a summer of toil under new boss Warne, who took the hot-seat permanently earlier this month after a four-month spell in caretaker charge, will equip the Millers for what lies ahead.
“I think we have got a good group of players,” he said. “Pre-season and having six weeks together to work as a group will have a massive impact on the team.
“I am confident. I think we can have a really good season.”
Warne plans to strengthen his squad with around eight new signings and wants to begin his recruitment as soon as possible after Rotherham’s campaign ends, at home to Derby County, on May 6.
The Millers, who travel to Preston North End on Saturday, have only two matches left and Forde has called on his teammates to build on last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town which ended a run of 17 games without a win.
“It is important we finish the season strongly because it sets the tone for next season,” he said.
“We have been working hard in training and in the last few games. We need to try 100 per cent in the next two games and try to get some confidence to take into next season.”
“Any win gives you confidence, even if you don’t perform as well as you can. The boys are happy and we are going to be confident going into the Preston game.”
The Deepdale clash is the final chance for Rotherham, who have only one point on their travels this season, to earn an away win this term.