Ditched ‘local lad’ Cresswell back with big point to prove to Millers

ROTHERHAM lad Ryan Cresswell makes his first return to his former club this afternoon and Steve Evans acknowledges he will be keen to prove a point.

The Southend United defender and ex-Millers captain left the club in the summer under a bit of a cloud after claiming he had been told he would be a first-choice under Evans, only to suddenly be deemed surplus to requirements.

Cresswell, who will be watched by a host of family and friends, labelled his exit as a shambles and admits he was ‘gutted’ to be denied the opportunity of playing for the Millers at the New York Stadium. Evans insists his departure was purely a professional decision.

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The Millers manager, who serves the penultimate game of his six-match stadium ban today, is hoping Cresswell gets a good reception and wishes the big defender luck – after today’s encounter.

He said: “Any player who goes back to his previous club wants to play well and win, we had it the other week with Michael Raynes. Cressy will be the same, probably more because he had been at the club longer and he is a local lad.

“Cressy is a great leader and defender in one box and a real threat in the other; he was at Rotherham. He is a young man who I think highly of on and off the pitch.

“I think he will get a good reception on Saturday from the fans which he deserves. He’s a good local guy and we wish him every success after Saturday.”

Specifically on Cresswell’s departure, Evans said: “It was a professional decision, there is no other way to say it.

“He left because because we had an opportunity of working with people like Ian Sharps, Johnny Mullins and Craig Morgan.”

Expecting a tough test today, Evans added: “I watched Southend beat Dagenham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in midweek and they are very strong. The final scoreline of 2-1 did not do them justice, as they dominated and it could have been four or five.”

David Noble, granted bail this week after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm after a fracas at a Bristol nightclub in March, is in contention, according to Evans.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the 30-year-old was told he would be sentenced on October 31.

Noble is vying with Jason Taylor and Mark Bradley to step into the shoes of Kari Arnason, on international duty with Iceland.

Alex Revell serves the final game of his three-match ban, with Daniel Nardiello back in contention for United.

Last six games: Rotherham: DWDLWL; Southend WDLDWL.

Last time: Rotherham 0 Southend 4; Sat, September 24, 2011; League One.

Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland).

SkyBet odds: Rotherham to win 10-11; Southend to win 3-1; Draw 12-5.