Norwich City v Rotherham United: Alan Stubbs hopes Newell has shaken off rust

ALAN STUBBS is cajoling more from key Rotherham United midfielder Joe Newell in the coming weeks after his return to the fray following ankle surgery.

Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs

The 23-year-old, who spent four months on the rehabilitation trail after an operation in the Spring, has started the club’s last three Championship matches, but candidly acknowledged that he was still feeling a ‘bit rusty’ in a recent interview.

With the benefit of two weeks of training in the international break, Stubbs is hopeful that the former Peterborough United player can step things up on the resumption of Championship business – and start to make his mark in 2016-17.

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Stubbs, who has bestowed praise on Newell since arriving, labelling him as an intelligent and perceptive player, said: “I think he has done okay. I would like to see Joe have more impact in games, but sometimes when you have been out after having an operation, it does not just come back overnight.

“It does take you three, four, five games when you are coming back from a few months out to get your stride.

“He has shown glimpses in games where you can see that he has got quality. But I would like Joe to have an even greater impact in games for longer periods.

“It is something we will work on, speak about and show Joe. Overall, yes, I have been pleased, but I think there is room for improvement as well.”

Rotherham are seeking to avoid recording an unwanted and damning statistic against the second-placed Canaries at Carrow Road this afternoon, conscious that a sixth successive away league reverse at the start of this season would equal a 95-year piece of history.

You have to go back to 1921 for the last occasion that the Millers lost their opening half-a-dozen league games on their travels.