Agard stays confident for Millers’ tough test

TREPIDATION will be the last thing on Rotherham United’s minds when they call in at surprise leaders Orient today, according to Kieran Agard.

Rotherham Utd manager Steve Evans with his chairman Tony Stewart

The Millers, who have lost their last two games and have not won in three League One games, face hosts who may have lost their unbeaten seasonal league record in midweek, but who have made Brisbane Road a fortress.

It was a case of unlucky 13 for Russell Slade’s O’s, who were beaten 3-1 at Coventry City on Tuesday evening, leaving Queens Park Rangers as the only team in the Football League yet to see their colours lowered this term.

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But one statistic relating to that far-from-lucky number remains intact for Orient – they are unbeaten in 13 league matches with the run stretching back to February 23.

The Millers welcome back Lee Frecklington, Kari Arnason and Michael O’Connor after a depleted line-up were frustrated in a 1-1 home draw with Tranmere Rovers last time out.

Steve Evans’s side certainly will not be cowed for the capital trip, with memories of their last visit to London when they claimed an outstanding 1-0 win at last season’s beaten play-off finalists Brentford still fresh in their minds.

On the task ahead for the Millers and on the season thus far, Newham-born Agard said: “We feel we are as good as anyone in this league and can give anyone a game.

“We fancy our chances to go anywhere and get a result, including against the best teams. We will all look forward to Orient.

“With the quality of players we have got, we have handled League One quite well and the step-up after winning promotion last season.

“But, as a team, we feel we should still be doing better. We are optimistic about the quality we have got in the side and while we’ve had a few setbacks, we’ll keep our heads up and keep going.”

Happy to do his bit playing in an attacking midfield role on the right, away from his preferred role as a central striker, Agard, who scored his fifth goal of the season in midweek, continued: “I am a striker by trade and always like to play up front. But if the gaffer tells me to play on the right, I will do that for the team, which always comes first.”