New boy Stephen Kelly is convinced he’s fit enough to be pitched straight into action by Rotherham United.
The Republic of Ireland international has been without a club since leaving Reading in the summer but hopes to make his debut in tomorrow’s Championship match at Leeds United after working hard on his conditioning.
He has signed for the Millers until the end of the season after training with them since the beginning of last week.
“I would say I’m not far off 100 per cent,” said the 32-year-old right-back. “I’d been training really hard by myself with a fitness coach and I’ve done a lot of work with the fitness team from the Irish squad over the last few months just to keep on top of things.
“I’m the sort of person who will push himself, and I didn’t want to be in a position where I was in for three or four weeks before I was able to play.
“Last week, we had a private game. I played the full 90 minutes and was comfortable. It went well and there weren’t any problems afterwards, so I feel confident I can come in straight away.”
Kelly is one of two recruits this week, with striker Leon Best also committing his future to the Millers until the end of the season, and boss Neil Redfearn is also looking at the loan market, even though the club already have five temporary signings on their books, as he bids to improve his squad.
I think we have to look,” he said. “I think you’re allowed up to eight, with five in your matchday squad. We need to strenghten in all areas. The league table doesn’t lie.”
Rotherham are bottom after 16 matches, six of which have seen Redfearn in charge after replacing Steve Evans.
Redfearn wants to send players out on loan, although left winger Aidy White is the only one to depart, for Barnsley, so far.
“There has been interest in the players. We’re trying to recoup as much as we laid out for them as possible,” the manager said.
Meanwhile, attacking midfielder Stephen Hunt, aged 34, remains on trial with the Millers.
“We’ve been looking at Steve and the board are aware of him. He’s got to fit in with what we’re doing,” Redfearn said.
“We’ve got players who are already here. We’ve got to balance it between getting some in and getting some out. He’s still here and he’s still being looked at.”