Rotherham United’s players have done their homework this week to try and work out the reasons behind their patchy start to the season.
The Millers hope to bounce back from a gut-wrenching derby defeat at Doncaster Rovers by securing their first home win of the campaign against a new-look Bolton Wanderers this weekend.
“We’ve had five league games and I think we could’ve won all of them,” said boss Paul Warne. “We had more chances in every game.
“We haven’t and in fairness we could’ve lost all of them so I’m not sat here pretending the grass is really green because it is not.
“We haven’t been at our absolute best.
“After the game on Saturday and again on Monday we just sat with the lads – they all came with a bit of homework – and they told us what they thought the problems were.
“In fairness from the side as a coach it looks completely different to what it does for the players on the pitch.
“I’ve asked them what they think and where they think they went wrong. We’ve shown them things on the video where I felt the game swung [against Doncaster]. Hopefully we can eradicate those errors.
“Obviously we’re not going to have a game where we are solely in their penalty area for 95 minutes. That’s obvious.
“But I just think when we do come under pressure we just have to manage the game better, we have to be a little bit braver on the ball, a little higher in our line and more reliable on the pitch, especially up top to keep the ball for the team.”
Bolton will arrive at the New York Stadium with virtually a new team, a new manager in Keith Hill, and will be backed by around 2,500 fans following the completion of their protracted takeover.
“They’ll come here with a real energy and desire to play,” said Warne.
“Their fans are fully behind their team and they’re that excited it feels like a cup final.
“They know what we do.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to look at them at all. We haven’t had an opportunity to look at their set pieces or their formations with and without possession.
“We have nothing so we’re going into the game a bit dark.
“However, the advantage for us is that they haven’t really played together a great deal.
“But I believe in emotion in sport and they will be emotive to the cause and I think they’ll be dangerous especially early in the game.
“The players they have signed are no mugs, like Verlinden on one side, Buckley possibly on the other side, Murphy and Bridcutt in midfield. These are proper players, I expect they’ll be desperate to get their season going and it’s a dangerous game for us.”
Chiedozie Ogbene faces at least three weeks out with a hamstring injury, while Kyle Vassell and Trevor Clarke remain sidelined.
Midfielder Shaun MacDonald is expected to be fit after he was forced off at Doncaster and Billy Jones has an outside chance of featuring.