Rotherham United v Leeds United: Wayne Carlisle looking beyond chance to shine as he contemplates bigger picture

Rotherham United v Leeds UnitedWayne Carlisle has no idea if he will be Rotherham United's caretaker manager by Tuesday, never mind the trip to Birmingham City which follows it, but both will be uppermost in his mind when he picks the team to face Leeds United on Friday.

With chairman Tony Stewart sifting through applications looking for a manager with Championship experience, Carlisle's claim that he wants the job full-time seems optimistic, especially as he has not formally registered his interest.

His only shot would appear to be a home win over in-form Leeds to make Stewart pause long enough for Carlisle to follow it up at Hull City on Tuesday, then at Birmingham on Saturday and beyond.

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Having Grant Hall, Jamie Lindsay and Daniel Ayala fit again improves his and Rotherham's chances but he insists he will look at the bigger picture when he names his side for Friday night's Yorkshire derby, rather than simply throw everything at it.

FIT AGAIN: Rotherham United centre-back Grant HallFIT AGAIN: Rotherham United centre-back Grant Hall
FIT AGAIN: Rotherham United centre-back Grant Hall

"I'm very conscious," replied Carlisle when asked how much next week's games would be in his thinking. "We know in the later stages of Friday's game we'll already be looking at making potentially two to three subs because of the players we'll have on the pitch and trying to protect players for Tuesday night.

"It's a really complicated situation with where we're at with regards to injuries.

"It's right at the front of your mind at all times."

Centre-backs Sean Morrison and Daniel Ayala – who is yet to play 90 minutes for the Millers after joining as a free agent last month – were at the heart of the juggling Matt Taylor was trying to do before losing his job two weeks ago and handing responsibility to his former assistant Carlisle.

JUGGLING ACT: Rotherham United have been trying to make the most of Daniel AyalaJUGGLING ACT: Rotherham United have been trying to make the most of Daniel Ayala
JUGGLING ACT: Rotherham United have been trying to make the most of Daniel Ayala
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That will still be the case now, but a fortnight's work while the Championship has been on hold for international football has done them good.

"Both of them are a lot further forward than they were before the international break," said Carlisle, told at the start of the week to expect to be in charge of Friday's game.

"We were bringing Sean back into it, Daniel was a bit of an unknown quantity in that he hadn't really been at the club for a period of time so we'd been nursing those guys. They've both had a good week's training so I would say they're in a better place than they have been."

Midfielder Lindsay has not appeared this season, centre-back Hall only in two consecutive early-October matches.

"They've worked really hard over the break," said Carlisle.

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"They've spent a few days at the training ground with the physios and S&C (strength and conditioning) staff and (first-team coach) Dan Green was with them as well. They got some good work in their legs and have trained fully this week

"I don't think they're at the point to be fully involved on Friday but we'll hopefully get them involved in some capacity over the next three games. As it stands, they will probably have to make the (Leeds) squad because we haven't got much of a squad! Any minutes in their legs would be a risk for them so we've got to be really cautious with them."

Carlisle says he would love the job permanently, but does not even know if he will be in post on Tuesday.

"(I've been told) very little,” he admitted. "I know there's a search ongoing for a new manager, which is great, but with regards to how long we're going to be in this position, I'm not quite sure.

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"I'm enjoying it, we're all enjoying it, we're making the best of it and we're happy to be in place as long as it takes to find the right person."

Asked if he was interested, he replied: "Of course. To manage at Championship level, anyone in football would relish that opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to (Friday), actually. All your work's done by that point, you step back and put your plans in progress, see how they pan out and then try and deal with any situations you're not expecting."