For Leam Richardson Rotherham United's habits are more than just a buzzword as he looks to raise standards

"Culture", "environment", "philosophies" – Rotherham United manager Leam Richardson loves a buzzword but the most important one ahead of Saturday's Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town is "habits".

With nine games to play this season, it would be pushing it even to say the Millers need snookers to stay in the Championship.

Taking as many points – 19 – from their last nine matches as they have from 37 thus far would leave them a point away from safety, and that is assuming those above do not pick up any. Sadly, they are going down.

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But how they are going down matters, making two 5-0 away defeats in a week – against Norwich City and Coventry City – so dispiriting.

What Rotherham do between now and the blessed relief of full-time against Cardiff City on May 6 will have no bearing on staying up but will affect next season.

"To finish strongly with good habits is far better than not," argues Richardson. "I can't think of a single reason not to. I can't think of a single reason not to come to work every day, be the best version of yourself and work as hard as possible.

"That's my stance on it. That's what I'm trying to put through to the staff and into the players.

HABITS: Rotherham United manager Leam RichardsonHABITS: Rotherham United manager Leam Richardson
HABITS: Rotherham United manager Leam Richardson
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"You always look for performance because if you have strong performances you then follow through with results. Your habits normally catch up with your performances, so if you've got good habits it'll push your performances forward.

"When we speak about culture, environment, philosophies, that's something I have to address from my point of view and filter it into the staff on the training ground and the players.

"What we can control, we will control to the best of our ability and we can control large parts of performance. Hopefully that will follow into results."

The bad habits were painfully obvious last week, but adversity also showed Richardson character traits – good and bad – he can refer to when deciding who should survive his cultural revolution.

"We've still got nine games to work together," he stresses.

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"I've only worked with them for a short period, really (since December). Everybody reverts to type so it will be interesting to see what certain types are and if they'll be part of what we want to do going forward, whether it's their work ethic or the culture and environment that will be instilled to go forward, whether they want to be involved...

"Sometimes my environment doesn't suit other people's and vice versa and I'm okay with that.

"You're always learning about people – I learnt about myself last week because that's the first time that's happened to me in my career.

"You have to dig deep, to dig into your resources and your experience to come out of the other side to turn up to work and instill the very strong habits and beliefs behind what you want to do."

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Sean Morrison is fit but whilst Lee Peltier’s ankle is ahead of schedule, he will not be able to face Town.

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