Character and desire: How Rotherham United owner Tony Stewart plans to find the right man for the job

TONY STEWART has been here before '“ many times, in fact.

Tony Stewart

As he sorts out the wheat from the chaff by sifting through the numerous applications from prospective managers wishing to take over at Rotherham United, he is minded to be particularly discerning before making a decision.

His next appointment, after all, will be the eighth manager he and his fellow board members have decided upon since Stewart took over the club in 2008.

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Stewart has pledged that there will be no rush in their search for the new man following Kenny Jackett’s sudden departure eight days ago.

STANDING IN: Rotherham United's caretaker manager, Paul Warne. Picture: Scott Merrylees

The recruitment process will be nothing but scrupulous and watchful.

This much Stewart can promise after the man whom they entrusted with the long-term task of building the club in Jackett proceeded to bail out unexpectedly.

Stewart said: “We have received lots of applicants. We had 40 by Thursday morning.

“What we are doing is taking our time to sift through them and, hopefully, something will come out of the canvas that we can work on.

STANDING IN: Rotherham United's caretaker manager, Paul Warne. Picture: Scott Merrylees

“We want CVs to turn your head. You take all characteristics into account, but I think we will look more deeply into the character and the desire.

“If we look back, the people who have been successful in my journey forward have been characters. You look at the likes of Steve (Evans), with his characteristics. He is very strong and animated and had lots of buzz. Neil Warnock came in and he was animated with lots of buzz and was enthusiastic.

“But you have to look at a CV and an interview and see if everything ticks all the boxes. Mentality and psychology are things that will come into play, but are not easy to recognise.

“It’s about psychology. There are people in the Championship who could probably do a job as they have experience and have been there.

“But it will be a brain-teaser and it will be down to us to look at the candidates and take our time and probably go to a second or even third interview to make sure we have got that person with the characteristics to suit this club.”

Last week was a particularly fraught one in a torrid season for the Millers, with the exit of Jackett being a bombshell for everyone connected with the club, not least the chairman.

Stewart could not understand it but, equally, he is clearly determined to move on following a managerial reign which will represent a short footnote in Millers’ history at 39 days and five games.

Stewart added: “He (Jackett) felt as though he had failed and it is bizarre – something I have not come across before.

“He rang me after the (Leeds) game and said, ‘Look I have only got one point in 15, in my book, that’s failure – are you going to sack me?’ I said, ‘No, I am not going to sack you’.

“I said I wouldn’t if he lost the next seven games. I wanted a long-term commitment that we get through this and we build.

“Fans are obviously thinking if he asked for players and we turned him down. But that was not the case. There was no proposal turned down for players and no ‘no, we can’t do this and can’t do that’.

“It was a green light and forward thinking. His decision certainly came as a shock and surprise.”

One school of thought has suggested that the Millers’ training ground facilities at Roundwood were a significant reason behind the 54-year-old’s decision to quit.

Stewart does not read much into that suggestion, while sagely pointing out that little was spoken about the training ground being an issue when Warnock and Evans were working wonders at the club.

Stewart said: “At the end of the day, we have a nice stadium and the training ground is under review. But, because we lease it and it is not ours, there are certain obstacles we have to get over to be able to ‘do up’ those premises.

“We have had the architect in and are doing some planning and moving forward on that. Yes, I would have liked it to be quicker, but, at the end of the day, Steve Evans never used to murmur about it. Sometimes, some people look at diversions rather than the reality of what we are trying to achieve.

“We must have the best training pitches around and the groundsman makes sure they are superb. We have spent £250,000 down there already and we only lease the place.

“I think we detract; I don’t think a guy has left because the training ground wasn’t right.

“At the end of the day, he’s a guy who worked at Millwall and, say, if you go to Doncaster, I think we have got a better training ground than them. I do not think it is about anything other than the issue of getting the players we have got to get results.”