IN A SEASON when Rotherham United have broken records for all the wrong reasons, there is one final statistic that they will be particularly keen to avoid tomorrow afternoon.
As it stands, the lowest points total accrued in the second tier since the three points system was introduced in 1981 was set by Cambridge United in a desperate 1983-84 campaign that saw them total 24 points.
Therefore the Millers, currently on 22 points, will set an unwanted record if they fail to beat Derby – and Cambridge’s record was set at a time when teams played just 42 games as opposed to 46.
Whatever transpires, the relief will be palpable when the final whistle sounds tomorrow after a calamitous campaign for the Millers, one which everyone connected with the club will be keen to forget.
The Millers have, at least, shown a touch of spirit in the dying embers of the campaign, by way of a win and two draws in their last four outings, and it is something that manager Paul Warne is keen to see again tomorrow especially for the club’s support, who have endured a torrid and embarrassing season.
Warne will be joined in the dug-out for the first time by new assistant Richie Barker and the ex-Millers striker admits that he did not have to be asked twice when asked if he would like to return to his old club.
Barker, who recently left his position as No 2 at Charlton, said: “It is not something that a few months ago I envisaged myself doing, certainly in the foreseeable future.
“It came out of the blue, but it was not a difficult decision in terms of working for Rotherham United.
“Charlton is a fantastic, massive club with the potential of going a long way and to leave Karl (Robinson) and Charlton, it was only coming back to Rotherham to work with somebody I have known for 17 years that would have taken me away. All the stars were lined for me to come back.
“Yes, me and Paul are mates, but certainly between nine to five, he is the manager and I am quite happy with that. In terms of our personality, as players we were very hard-working, made the best of what we had, never rested on our laurels.
“We probably did not play that many games together, but had a lot in common.
“There probably is not that many people who worked at Millmoor, Don Valley and New York Stadium here.
“This is a football club that has moved on and is going places.”