AFTER performing the equivalent of a trolley dash in some frenetic early-summer shopping in the last close season, Rotherham United have learned that patience can be a virtue in the Championship.
Just seven days ago at the start of July, it would have been fair to describe the Millers’ recruitment as a bit of a slow-burner, with just three incoming deals completed in comparison to the end of June 12 months ago, when a colossal 11 signings had been announced.
But in the past week, four players – Emmanuel Ledesma, Danny Collins, Tom Thorpe and Greg Halford – have checked in, with the promise of more to come with the club also hoping to announce a new coaching arrival.
The aforesaid quartet have joined June recruits Aidan White, Joe Mattock and Lewis Buxton in pre-season training, with keeping their powder dry in the early-summer market having served the Millers well.
That perseverance proved instrumental in their successful pursuit of their most recent signing, utility man Halford, on the wanted list of a number of rival clubs due to his versatility in not just a couple of positions, but three or four.
After the exits of a key trio from last season in Kari Arnason, Craig Morgan and Ben Pringle, the last week’s activity has certainly applied a touch of soothing balm for supporters.
Assistant manager Paul Raynor said: “A couple of weeks ago everyone thought we were bonkers and now everyone has seen what we have been doing behind the scenes.”
On bringing in Halford, who Steve Evans has confirmed was at the top of his target list of signings, Raynor said: “It has been a long process. Since we (first) spoke to Greg, we have met him four times, and last week we met him for the final time and we went away from that meeting very confident.
“It was fantastic when we got the green light.”
A new goalkeeper is now high on the Millers shopping list, with Scott Loach on the transfer list and the club firmly in the market for a new custodian to battle it out for the No 1 jersey with Adam Collin.
A move for former loan right-back James Tavernier has also been mooted and Raynor admits that the Millers would be keen if Wigan Athletic are receptive to doing business.
Raynor – who dismissed talk linking the Latics with Matt Derbyshire, who the club are not interested in selling – said: “James is a player who it is well documented that we like. Would we like him in the door? I think that’s quite obvious.
“He was fantastic for us. But he’s a Wigan player. I don’t know what has been going on behind the scenes if anything, but he’s certainly a player we’d like and love to have around.”
And on their search for a new goalkeeper, he added: “There’s one or two irons in the fire.
“I know the gaffer has been very, very active. But these things take time.
“We are dealing with two or three clubs on that front and we will see how that progresses.”