KENNY JACKETT may have his hands full in his quest to engineer a first win in 12 games for Rotherham United this afternoon – but a quick glance at the opposition is a reminder of what can be achieved.
The Millers face a club who represent a good template to follow, according to Jackett, who has been impressed by the way in which Preston have made the most of what they have got this season, despite not being one of the division’s ‘big-hitters.’
After a sticky start to the season, Simon Grayson’s side – knocked out of the play-offs by the Millers back in the Spring of 2014 – are back on an even keel and boast a decent run of form, while proving one of the tougher teams to beat in the division.
It is something that Jackett – seeking his first victory in charge of the Millers at the third attempt today – would dearly love to follow.
He said: “Preston have done very well this season and are a good example to us and a club that we can emulate.
“Looking at their last three games against Huddersfield, Norwich and Newcastle, they have got a good points return of six points out of nine in tough games.
“They are very well balanced and with good options to change the side and the way they play and generally get the maximum out of their squad of players.”
After a physical examination at Ipswich last weekend, the Millers will face another against a well-drilled and imposing outfit in Preston – the sort of side who Jackett hopes his team can evolve into in the weeks and months ahead.
Jackett is shrewd enough to appreciate that talent alone will not yield a renaissance up the table for his side.
He acknowledges that hard labour is their likely route to salvation in the view of the vastly-experienced boss.
He added: “We ourselves need to be getting better, fitter and finishing stronger both in terms of running, organisation and knowledge of the game.
“All of those things must improve and our output must be at a maximum. For us to do well in this league, that’s a basic.
“We have to work harder than any other team in the league in order to get ourselves off the bottom.
“The size of the club we are means we have to be more committed and hard-working than every side in every week.
“If we can get that, we can bridge that gap towards being a side who picks up points on a regular basis.”