Chairman Tony Stewart is backing new boss Kenny Jackett to restore the “bite” and “passion” that has been missing from Rotherham United this season.
The Millers wasted no time in making their move for the proven Championship operator, appointing the 54-year-old just two days after previous manager Alan Stubbs paid the price for winning only one of his 14 matches in charge.
Jackett, who will be in charge for today’s Championship match against Reading at New York Stadium after signing a three-year deal, took training yesterday, and Rotherham moved fast to avoid losing out on his services.
“He was a guy who’d never been available to us before,” Stewart said. “We acted swiftly because his record is superb and he has the experience of the Championship. We’ve missed that bite, that passion, the effort that goes in.
“I and the board recognised that Kenny Jackett was someone we should be looking at.”
Jackett has won promotions as a boss with Swansea City, Millwall and Wolves and managed the Lions and West Midlanders in the second tier for long spells.
Money will be available to spend in the January transfer window, but for now the focus is on bridging the six-point gap between the bottom-placed Millers and a safety spot.
“His first conversation was about getting points before Christmas,” Stewart said. “He’s been in football a long time and knows what it is to fight. We’re in catch-up time. There are 33 games to go. He knows the job is about getting points.
“I think it was crucial to get him in early because we have 11 games left before January, so he has time to take stock now and have a look and give opportunities to the players.”
The appointment of Jackett, who left Wolves in the summer, has been warmly welcomed by supporters.
Stubbs, 45, arrived at New York in June with no background of Championship management but with a good record in Scotland.
“Sometimes in risks you get disappointments and this was a disappointment,” Stewart said.
“In Kenny, we’ve gone for a mature, experienced, knowledgeable guy. He has recent Championship experience - and with a big club like Wolves. I think his experience of the Championship will make a big difference as we move forward.”