Millwall v Rotherham United: Matt Taylor on Millers 'misfits' and solving a 'jigsaw puzzle'

MATT TAYLOR'S challenge in 2023-24 is far more nuanced than simply reaching the fifty-point safety line to ensure another season of Championship football for Rotherham United.

It involves moulding a team of 'misfits', in his words, into a strong collective capable of consistently picking up results, while also developing individual assets with re-sale value amid constant reassessment in each transfer window.

Taylor, who has brought in 11 players since the summer, said: "In all the work we've done, not once have we been able to say: 'Here you go, we're signing a player who has played two 46-game seasons on the bounce in the Championship.'

"That, unfortunately, is not realistic for us.

Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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"They are a kind of a group of almost 'misfits'. It's like you're putting a group of misfits together.

"But you could go through every single player and understand the reason why they are playing for Rotherham United at Championship level; whether it's a young player coming up from League One, a young player dropping down a level on loan or a player who's been injured and not had game-time recently elsewhere.

"It's a skill you have to fine-tune. You put it together almost like a jigsaw.

"The introduction of Sam (Nombe) is the last piece of this jigsaw. Then we'll break it up and work towards another one in January and the window after that.

That's the only way you keep on improving."

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In terms of current assets, Taylor feels he is well stocked, at least.

He continued: “I think we now have a strong group in terms of some assets. The goalkeeper is a huge asset, Cam Humphreys, Christ Tiehi and Ollie Rathbone are assets.

"Sam Nombe and Andre Green could be in that bracket. Tyler Blackett could become an asset.

"There's two parts to an 'asset': one is on the pitch and the other is financial.

"We've done it with Ben Wiles and Dan Barlaser: when the time is right to re-regenerate some funds, you have to move these players on after they've performed well for ourselves."