WITH 19 goals and 15 points from half a dozen games, it is very much a case of ‘home sweet home’ for Rotherham United this season.
No other team in League One has been as prolific in front of their own fans as the Millers, while only the top two of Shrewsbury Town and Wigan Athletic can eclipse that New York Stadium points tally.
What the two early pace-setters also do, however, is boast impressive form on their travels with the Shrews having already won four times, one more than the Latics.
Rotherham, meanwhile, have lost four of their five away games since being relegated from the Championship and scored just twice.
Joe Newell admits the disparity between results on home soil and those on the road is puzzling.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you what the difference is,” said the 24-year-old ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rochdale.
“There hasn’t been a specific change (in how Rotherham approach away games). At Bradford, we were in the game and then they scored from one cross.
“We won at Portsmouth but we should have got something at Peterborough. Maybe Fleetwood is the only game we deserved to lose.
“I know people are highlighting it but I don’t really see it as a problem. It is not something in our heads.”
Last season, of course, was a shocker for the Millers. Just 23 points were claimed from 46 games as the club slipped out of the second tier in ignominious fashion.
I know people are highlighting it but I don’t really see it as a problem. It is not something in our heads.Rotherham United’s Joe Newell
This sorry record included 21 defeats in 23 away games and the collection of a paltry two points on the road but Newell is adamant there is no hangover this time around.
“Last season was bad home and away so it is not as if it is psychological,” added the United midfielder. We have been very strong at home, once we score one goal we feel we can score more. That is down to confidence.
“I can’t say why that hasn’t been the case away but I know we are not going into this game thinking, ‘Oh no, we are away again’. It is just another game to us. We go there expecting to win.”
Rotherham suffered a rare defeat at the New York on Tuesday night, as a late header from Jak McCourt sealed a 2-1 triumph for Chesterfield in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Manager Paul Warne making 10 changes to the five made by Spireites counterpart Jack Lester could have been a factor in the largely lifeless display of the opening 45 minutes.
After the interval, however, matters improved markedly and the Millers could consider themselves unfortunate to finish on the losing side.
Newell was brought off the bench along with David Ball to inject some urgency into proceedings and he added: “Our tempo and attitude wasn’t what we have come to expect from the first few games.
“It is easy to say from the sidelines but I didn‘t think we came out quick enough.
“But we were a lot better in the second half. There wasn’t a specific message from the gaffer when me and Bally came on but we knew we had to try and inject something.
“We tried to get on the ball and I felt we dominated the final half hour. Their goal was probably the only time they were in our half.”
Rotherham have appointed Mark Burton as the club’s new Head of Academy Coaching.
Burton joins the Millers in the youth setup at the club and will work closely with Garreth Barker and his staff as they look to develop the next generation of talent.
Barker said: “We’re thrilled to be adding somebody with Mark’s credentials to our youth setup here at the club.
“We had a number of impressive candidates apply for the job but Mark really stood out and his CV speaks for itself.”