Manager Steve Evans’s disappointment at Rotherham United’s 10-match unbeaten run coming to a halt on Wednesday will have been tempered by the fact it came against Premier League opposition in Aston Villa.
Two divisions – and a considerable chasm in terms of quality and resources – separated the combatants in midweek at Villa Park, prompting Evans to muse that he would not have minded taking Villa’s consummate squad to Meadow Lane this afternoon.
But, despite disappointment in the 3-0 reverse, the Millers chief was also pragmatic, acknowledging his side’s real test comes at County today.
The reaction is all important, according to Evans, whose side are unbeaten following the early sparring in League One with their last league defeat coming back on April 6, a 2-1 reverse at Morecambe.
Defender Claude Davis, who missed the Villa encounter through illness, will be assessed, as will midfielder David Noble, unavailable in midweek after sustaining a knock in training.
Evans, forced to field youth player Daniel Rowe on the bench at Villa and eyeing some incoming transfer business to boost his squad, said: “It had been a long time since we got beaten, but it’s about how you react to defeat, isn’t it?
“We deserved a night at a Premiership ground and the supporters travelled there in good numbers and never stopped singing from start to finish.
“You are always going to lose games and it’s how you react and we have to react positively. We will re-energise them for a tough trip to Notts County.”
The Millers’ previous visit to Meadow Lane yielded a fine 3-0 FA Cup win last December, with all the goals coming in a turbo-charged first half.
County will be scenting revenge with Evans, who welcomes back Daniel Nardiello after a one-match ban, impressed with their efforts in the cup loss at Anfield on Tuesday when they took Liverpool to extra-time and handed their illustrious rivals a scare or two.
Evans added: “We saw what Notts County were capable of in the second half at Anfield.
“We will go there, be ready and be freshened up and, hopefully, we might have one or two back available for us.”