Rotherham United: Millers boss Steve Evans threatens to drop players

Richie Smallwood
Richie Smallwood

Manager Steve Evans has warned his Rotherham United players that some of them could pay for the midweek defeat against Blackburn Rovers with their places.

The Millers fought back from a goal down and were only minutes from a 1-1 draw before succumbing to a 2-1 defeat, but the Millers manager was unhappy with what he saw in the first half at Ewood Park.

He said the squad’s approach reminded him of the club’s worst away display of the season, a 3-0 defeat at Reading in early November,

“We weren’t at it,” he said. “The last time my staff, Paul Warne and Paul Raynor, felt similar in the warm-up was Reading away. We spoke to the players long and hard about what we thought that might mean.

“It took substitutions to change that Reading-type peformance to a normal Rotherham United performance. All three subs came on and made a real difference to the game.

“This group’s been good for three or four games but you can’t turn up for three or four games and then think you’re in the team every week. You earn the shirt and some of them may have lost it.”

Evans threw Jack Hunt and Adam Hammill into the fray after just 50 minutes, taking off Ben Pringle and Conor Newton, and later brought on Danny Ward.

The Millers, had won two and drawn one of their three matches before Tuesday night, and midfielder Richie Smallwood believes they deserved to keep their unbeaten run going.

“To be fair, I thought we were unlucky not to nick a point in the end,” he said,

“Second half, I thought the performance was better. We came out fighting and, on chances overall, probably should have had a point. It’s fine margins at this level. We’ve been on a good run lately and we’ll bounce back.”

Right-back Frazer Richardson’s shoulder injury is thought to be just deep bruising and the club hope to have him available for their next match, at home to Derby on Tuesday.