Rotherham United: New midfield worry for Millers

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams

Injury-hit Rotherham United could be without four first-choice midfielders for tomorrow’s League One clash at AFC Wimbledon.

The Millers, who are fourth in the table after last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United, are already missing Darren Potter, Lee Frecklington and Jon Taylor.

Ryan Williams complained of a sore ankle after the clash with The Iron, making him a fitness concern ahead of the trip to South-west London.

“He’s a doubt,” manager Paul Warne confirmed.

Frecklington, after a back problem and Taylor, who is recovering from a knee issue, are back in training and should be available for this Saturday’s match at Oxford United.

Potter has had an injection to cure a heel complaint. The Millers initially hoped he, too, would be ready to return against Oxford, but they now feel the home match the following week against Gillingham is a more likely comeback date.

Jon Taylor

Jon Taylor

“If we can get him for the Oxford game, all the better, but I don’t think that will be the case,” Warne said.

Even without Potter, Frecklington and Taylor, Rotherham saw off the challenge of Scunthorpe thanks to goals from man of the match Will Vaulks and Kieffer Moore.

Loan striker Moore has now scored 10 times in 13 league matches and Warne revealed he had spoken to Mick McCarthy, manager of Moore’s parent club, Ipswich Town, last week.

The centre-forward is due to spend the entire season at AESSEAL New York Stadium but the Tractor Boys could recall him in the January transfer window.

Will Vaulks

Will Vaulks

“They’ll watch him and monitor him and they might want him back and playing for them,” Warne said. “I can understand why because he’s having a really good season for us.

“The longer we can keep him here, the better. And if I could get him long term then, obviously, I would. He’s an Ipswich player and his career might be there.”

Vaulks will be asked to anchor the midfield again at AFC Wimbledon who beat Northampton Town last Saturday but are in the relegation zone.

Warne is expected to keep faith with goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell who, in the face of competition from Marek Rodak, produced an accomplished display against Scunthorpe.

“It wasn’t so much the saves Rich made, it was more the fact he was on his front foot and coming for stuff,” Warne said. “That’s what I want.

“I’ve said it all along, I want my keepers to be a bit maverick and I want them to come and help the team out. If they do drop one, or make a mistake here or there, I’ll back them. They’ll get less backing if they don’t come. His performance was really good.”

Summer signing David Ball, making only his second league start in a season hit by injury and illness, impressed against Scunthorpe and is another likely starter tomorrow.

“Bally hasn’t had many first-team minutes. His performance was admirable,”Warne said. “All the lads love him. It’s nice to get him back on the pitch.

“I’ve always waxed lyrical about Bally. He’s a really good player. He can have the ball in tight areas, and we haven’t had a player like that here for a while.”

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