Rotherham United: Skipper Wood on a potential Millers play-off campaign ... ‘Other teams will fear us’

Richard Wood
Richard Wood

Captain Richard Wood believes Rotherham United will be the team to fear in the play-offs if they clinch their spot in League One’s top six.

With five matches left to pay, the fourth-placed Millers, who head to leaders Wigan Athletic tomorrow, reckon two more wins will seal their berth in the end-of-season shoot-out.

They have been prolific scorers in the 2017/18 campaign and Wood says no side will relish playing them with a place in the Championship up for grabs.

Finishing fourth would guarantee Rotherham a favoured home clash in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals, but that doesn’t concern the skipper at all.

“I have not even thought about where we finish, to be fair,” he said. “I just want to be in those play-offs.

“I think other sides will fear us and, to me, it doesn’t matter where we finish in the play-off zone. It doesn’t matter for us if we have home advantage in the second leg of the play-offs or not, not with the lads we have got.

Ben Purrington

Ben Purrington

“We create chances all the time and score goals so, no, it doesn’t matter.”

The Millers are six points clear of fifth-placed Plymouth Argyle and seven ahead of the rest of the chasing pack.

They will be without Joe Mattock, who has a hamstring injury, for the test at title favourites Wigan, with Ben Purrington, who has deputised at left-back for the last two matches, expected to start again.

Purrington hadn’t featured in the first team since September before being called up earlier this month and the 21-year-old has impressed assistant manager Richie Barker by the way he has handled the challenge.

“He’s got a fantastic attitude. He’s never moaned, never complained.” Barker said. “Arguably, Joe Mattock has been one of the most consistent performers this season. Then we went on a 14-match unbeaten run, so there weren’t many players not in the team who could really suggest that they should be in the team.

Purrington, aged 21, was a £300,000 signing from Plymouth in January 2017 but has found his chances restricted by injuries and the form of Mattock.

“We kept seeing people talking about Ben and wondering about his future,” Barker added. “I never saw any issue. He’s been honest and hard-working. He’s got on with it and he’s now getting the rewards.

“In training, he’s excellent every day. He likes to do extras, he asks questions. It’s no surprise to me that he’s now doing what he’s doing.”

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