Nottingham Forest v Rotherham: Respect but no fear from the Millers

Rotherham's Richie Smallwood fires the ball past Michail Antonio in last season's game v Forest
Rotherham's Richie Smallwood fires the ball past Michail Antonio in last season's game v Forest
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Rotherham United will look to break a 60-year record when they travel to Nottingham Forest.

For the Millers have not won at the City Ground, in their last 11 visits, since a 2-0 win on April 8, 1955.

Steve Evans’s side enjoyed a welcome midweek win in the Capital One Cup, beating Cambridge United 1-0, but after their 4-1 opening day loss to MK Dons the Millers will be desperate for a positive result.

“Forest are a dynamic team going forward,” said Evans.

“We respect them, but we don’t fear them. We have not won there, I am told, since 1955. We have broken a lot of records in three years, and we would like to break this one. It’s a great place to play football, you only have to think of the history and tradition in that football club.

“Their supporters will turn up in big numbers and they are under pressure to get a result as well.

“We are all under pressure in football, but they are under pressure having lost to Brighton and in the Cup and will see us as an opportunity to start winning.”

Rotherham played well at the City Ground last term, but first-half goals from Dexter Blackstock and Michail Antonio saw Forest win 2-0.

And it is the former Sheffield Wednesday winger Antonio who Evans admits is one of Forest’s main danger men.

Antonio netted 17 goals in 75 league starts for the Owls, but has improved his scoring ratio at Forest over the last 12 months, bagging 14 in 47 league starts. He netted twice in Forest’s 4-3 surprise Cup exit to Walsall in midweek.

“I think he’s got better (at Forest),” believes Evans. “Dare I say it, but I think he’s playing with better players than he was for a couple of seasons at Wednesday.

“But at Wednesday, he was always the one player who could turn the game on its head. He just has sheer strength, brutality of pace that kills defenders and leaves midfield players in his wake.”

Midfielder Richie Smallwood believes there is no reason why the Millers should not be looking up this campaign.

“We survived last season so it’s all about pushing on and seeing if we can get into mid-table, there’s no reason why we can’t,” he enthused.

“There are a lot of good teams but we have brought in some good players, who have a lot of Championship experience and who will help us push on this season.

“It’s very much early days but I want to play a big part in helping the club push on again.”