The 22-year-old centre-back has joined on loan from Huddersfield Town with his career at a “crossroads” to get matches under his belt, but was brought off at half-time in his League One debut. His response made an impression on Barker.
“He was taken off at half-time because of a slight tactical change,” explained the Sheffield-born coach. “He was the one going round the dressing room telling everybody, ‘Come on, we’ll win this game.’
“For a young man, that is an amazing attitude to have and he’s won a lot of friends in this dressing room.
“He’s always pulling the coaching staff telling us he wants to work on this or learn that. Long may it continue.”
Edmonds-Green – or Reg to his team-mates – had to wait until last week for his next league start, but played an important part in the draw at Lincoln City and the win at Bolton Wanderers. It will be hard to leave him out at home to Crewe Alexandra today.
“If you’d said a couple of weeks ago we’d go away to Bolton, keep a clean sheet and win 2-0 with no Wes (Harding) and no Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) in the starting line-up (both were substitutes), I think that’s testimony to people like Reg and Joe Mattock,” says Barker.
“With his ability to take information on board and his hunger to stay in the team, Reg deserves everything he gets.”
Rotherham place great store on the mentality of their players.
“We felt he was comfortable playing in a back three and he felt it was his best position,” says Barker. “We also just felt in terms of his mentality, the way he wanted to learn, he suited us. Anything he brings after that is a bonus.
“He played a part in 24 Championship games last season (16 starts), so that speaks for itself.
“We just like players who are at a little bit of a crossroads, who want to come in, learn and get better, who have the right attitude and the right physical outputs. He’s been a breath of fresh air.”
Rotherham will use today’s game to mark the 60th anniversary of their appearance in the first League Cup final.