STEVE EVANS insists there is nothing wrong with the dressing-room harmony at Rotherham United – aside from the obvious disappointment at his side’s recent downturn in results.
Many Millers fans have speculated that all is not well in the playing camp in the wake of a dispiriting run of three successive defeats and five losses in their past six games at the New York Stadium – but boss Evans has emphatically rubbished those rumours.
That has been further fuelled by a revolving door of incoming and outgoing transfers at the club this month with a number of senior players having left – including summer signings Ian Sharps, Lionel Ainsworth and Gareth Evans – and a number of others joining, including defender Claude Davis and Peterborough duo Lee Frecklington and Dan Kearns.
But Evans says the activity is nothing to do with players being fundamentally unhappy, with the fact that spirits are low following their recent dip in results something fully understandable and something he would expect in the circumstances.
Evans, whose side are seeking their first league home win this calendar year in their encounter with Northampton Town tomorrow afternoon, said: “Team spirit is always at its best when you are winning and it will never be good when you are losing.
“The players do not put the music on or laugh and joke and there is not as much banter.
“But our spirit over the season has been very good after putting a lot of lads together. Listen, if we believed everything on messageboards, the team spirit would be rubbish and players would fall out with us every day and not be happy.
“I did not see Ben Pringle unhappy when he signed his new deal or Karl Arnason demand a move when someone offered serious money for him.
“I have not seen any players come in and say they don’t want to be here when we have offered a number of players options to do things. They all want to be here.”
Among the Millers’ departures this month is midfielder Jason Taylor, who was quoted as saying that Evans was “not everyone’s cup of tea”, earlier this week following his transfer to League Two rivals Cheltenham Town.
But Evans insists that the decision to sell the former Stockport County player was down to footballing reasons – with the principle one being that the Scot has a surfeit of options in the middle of the park.
On the decision to release Taylor, with his contract with Rotherham cancelled by mutual consent on Monday, Evans said: “David Noble returning to fitness and moving Kari Arnason into midfield were part of it.
“Football is all about opinions, but when you look at our central midfielders being Kari Arnason, David Noble and Ben Pringle, Jason Taylor was not going to play for me.
“He is a good kid and good professional and works really hard.
“But when we look at the options, we weighed things up and thought we were overloaded.”