Rotherham United v Watford: Improving Millers' environment about facilities as well as philosophy

Manager Leam Richardson says Rotherham United are two years behind where they should be, and preparations to host Watford on Saturday have shown as much.

When Richardson talks about improving the environment he is talking about the physical surroundings as well as the culture.

Training was at the New York Stadium on Friday because Roundwood's pitches were unfit.

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That will have a knock-on effect on matchday, although with Valerien Ismael's side playing the ball across the grass much more than his Barnsley team did, Watford are likely to be more disadvantaged.

Even so, Richardson wants to move in that direction, so he hopes issues with the training ground can be addressed in the summer.

"We’ve played Leeds, Southampton, Hull and now Watford and we’ve been struggling to get on the training pitch," said Richardson, who has been vocal this week about improving fitness too. "That’s a challenge in itself because you know how difficult the games are anyway.

“It’s something we need to turn our attention to. If you want to train at a level or recruit, your environment's everything.

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"(Director of football) Rob Scott, (chief operating officer) Paul Douglas and myself are on board with it and so is the owner (Tony Stewart). We have to evolve if we want to be a successful football club and make really strong, pro-active decisions.”

WORK TO DO: Rotherham Umited manager Leam RichardsonWORK TO DO: Rotherham Umited manager Leam Richardson
WORK TO DO: Rotherham Umited manager Leam Richardson

Richardson wants a different culture at the club he joined in December.

"It is probably two years’ worth we need to change," he said. "The culture needs to be pushed forward and the environment needs to grow into a successful one. That’s why I’m here.

"Every time I have left a club it has been in an healthier state with a lot of assets on the football pitch."

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But one aspect which must not be lost is the fighting spirit that has allowed the Millers to punch above their weight in recent years. Despite being clear at the bottom of the Championship they still have that, and showed it in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Hull City.

"We have to try and attack, be on the front foot and take the game to teams," insisted Seb Revan, on loan from Aston Villa. "In Tuesday's first half it worked very well.

"We just have to tighten up on a few little things and hopefully we'll get results.

"We just have to try and see the positives from Tuesday’s game and take it into the Watford game."

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Like Hull, the Hornets have a squad packed with talent. Rotherham kept the Tigers at bay for more than 70 minutes, but ultimately saw a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 defeat.

"It's difficult but we're all professionals, we're fit players so we have to just have belief we can see it out for 90 minutes," said Revan.

Veteran centre-back Sean Morrison will be rested, the first game he has missed under Richardson.

"It's just management with Mozza," explained his manager.

"He's played a lot of games since coming back from injury and we're very conscious of the age (33) as well and the turnaround in games. It's great he's been ever-present since I've been in the building and fingers crossed he'll be like that until the end of the season."

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