Rotherham United would cope with any absence of 'unbelievable' Dan Barlaser insists Richard Wood

Dan Barlaser.Dan Barlaser.
Dan Barlaser. | jpimedia
ROTHERHAM UNITED captain Richard Wood has praised the 'unbelievable' impact of key midfielder Dan Barlaser - but is confident that the Millers have the squad resources to cope in the event of him being absent for a spell.

Barlaser, on a season-long loan from Newcastle United, was stretchered off with an ankle injury following lengthy treatment amid worrying scenes in the second half of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at top-of-the-table League One rivals Coventry City.

Speaking after the game, Millers chief Paul Warne said that he was confident that the issue was not a serious one and that Barlaser would not be out for a long-term spell - although there remains the potential for him to be sidelined in the immediate term.

Rotherham are likely to know more on Thursday morning.

Wood said: "He has been unbelievable.

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"Since he came here, he has grown as a person and a player and been excellent.

"But as the gaffer always says, it's next man up. I am hoping he's going to be all right. We've got a good squad with good players to come in. It's a squad game. We'll need the squad if we are to go up as champions."

Veteran defender Wood, who has never won a league title in his long career, admits that and his team-mates are highly motivated by the prospect of lifting silverware at the end of the campaign and being bestowed with the honour of being champions.

It is something that the Millers have not experienced since winning the old Division Four under Billy McEwan in 1988-89, while second-placed Coventry have not won a title since 1967.

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"You've got to stay positive. We're at the top and we want to stay there. We don't want to settle for anything else", said one-time Coventry centre-half Wood, part of a Rotherham side who are ahead of his former club on goal difference only, having played a game more.

"It's one defeat in 14 games. I'm saying we're disappointed (after Coventry), but it's a great run we're on and we have to keep it going."

Adamant that the Millers should also embrace the pressure of being the hunted as opposed to the hunter in the chase for the championship, with the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth also having realistic designs on finishing top of the pile, Wood said: "That's something I enjoy. It's good.

"We have to focus on ourselves. If we can win at home to MK Dons on Saturday, it will make this a good point."