Joe Newell says Rotherham United’s players should relish tomorrow’s sell-out showdown with Newcastle United or retire!
The Millers entertain one of the giants of the English game in a Championship clash at New York Stadium.
And Newell, a likely starter after recovering from ankle surgery last April, said: “If you can’t get up for Newcastle at home, I don’t think you should be in football.”
Rotherham are in bottom spot, but Newell believes the third-placed Magpies and their fanatical following are ideal opponents as he and his teammates look to bounce back from the disappointment of their 2-1 midweek defeat at leaders Huddersfield Town.
“We’ll all be buzzing for it, especially after dusting ourselves down, looking at the analysis from Huddersfield and going over the tactical points,” the left midfielder said.
“It’s a massive game. We’ll get over Huddersfield emotionally and be raring to go.”
The Millers rattled the Terriers with a spirited second-half display and could have forced a draw had Tom Adeyemi found the target with a free header four minutes from time.
Newell, who played a key part in Danny Ward’s goal in West Yorkshire, is calling on Rotherham to begin this afternoon’s encounter in the same fashion they finished against Town.
“It’s a full house,” the 23-year-old said. “If we can start well and give the crowd something to get behind us with - we all know how much they want us to do well - it’s got the potential to be a great game.
“We were all disappointed at Huddersfield because no-one likes losing, especially after the way we dug in and felt we could have got something.
“But now we’re looking forward to Newcastle.”
Ward scored his fifth goal in 10 league games at former club Town with a cleverly-taken volley and has already beaten his tally last season when he hit the net four times.
He and fellow forward Izzy Brown - who has been called up by England Under-20s for games against Germany, Holland and the USA during the international break - will be key men against a Toon side, managed by Champions League winner Rafa Benitez, who have won six and drawn one of their 10 matches since being relegated from the Premier League.
Millers central defender Dael Fry is also in the U-20 squad.