Rotherham United: Millers focused on fitness

Richie Barker
Richie Barker

Rotherham United assistant boss Richie Barker has stressed that fitness is a bigger priority than pre-season results as the club prepare for their Championship return.

The Millers beat Parkgate in their opening pre-season friendly before being held to a goalless draw in Austria and then ending their trip with a 1-0 win.

Manager Paul Warne will be sending split squads for friendlies against Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels tomorrow night with the new season fast approaching.

Barker said: “It’s important that we learn to win football matches but certainly the Parkgate game was just to get used to playing 11 v 11 again.

“At this precise minute, it’s a little bit of trying to put minutes into the players when they’re very tired. We did three sessions on Monday last week and then played on Tuesday.

“Even before the Parkgate game, I think we’d done about 15 kilometres of running the day before, which is the sort of distance you’d normally do in a week.

“There’s always going to be tired legs in games so we’re not reading too much into it.

“We’ve worked tactically on some of the things that we thought needed improving and we’re starting to put some of those tactics in place.”

Rotherham have been working hard on their set-piece routines, something which proved crucial for them last term as they won promotion.

“We’ve started that ball rolling and over the next three weeks we’ll be drip-feeding more information in,” Barker said.

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