Chris Dawson's arrival highlights road Rotherham United intend to travel

With only goal difference keeping Rotherham United out of the relegation zone, it would not be a surprise to hear their manager highlight the importance of the here and now.

This is not the case for Neil Redfearn, even with a crunch clash against basement side Bolton due tomorrow.

Despite the additions of the experienced Aymen Belaid and Luciano Becchio in January, it is the signing of Chris Dawson, with just four first-team appearances to his name, that he has highlighted as “the bigger picture”.

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Dawson joined the Millers on January 28 after terminating his deal with Leeds. He is a project for Redfearn, a talented player who is skilled with the ball but has struggled with injury.

Redfearn revealed: “One of the most important signings that we had from the deadline was Chris Dawson. He puts a marker down.

“He is the beginning of what is going to be good. We are going to recruit top young players for our development group, and that will supplement our first team for years to come. It’s a process that I went through at Leeds United, developing young players and bringing them through.

“Chris will be involved. He was involved in the first team at Leeds when I was at Leeds. He is the bigger picture, he is part of the bigger picture.”

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The addition of Redfearn’s former Barnsley team-mate Nicky Eaden as assistant manager yesterday has given the manager the tools with which to develop players, something he admitted was in his job description.

“Bringing Nicky in is a big plus for us,” said Redfearn.

“My remit when I first came in here was to make these players better, and stay in this division. If you look at it, we are still in with a good chance of staying in this division, and for me, the players are getting better.

“If I look at players like Joe Newell, Grant Ward, Danny Ward, they are getting better. Richie Smallwood is getting better, Kirk Broadfoot is playing well and getting better.

“It does not matter if they are young players or old players, we are making these players better and we are playing better.

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“We worked with young players (at Barnsley), including Nicky who was a young player at the time. The young players came in, people like Nicky Eaden, Andy Liddell, Chris Morgan, Dave Watson – these were all young players that came in at a time and the club developed. They became household names. The club benefited from it.”