STEVE EVANS insists that if Rotherham United finish the season in 21st spot in the Championship, it will represent a bigger achievement than their promotion campaigns of the previous two years.
For a third successive season, the fate of the Millers is precariously placed and while the South Yorkshire outfit will not be afforded any official Football League champagne if they maintain their Championship status, Evans says the sense of achievement will not be diluted.
“This would be by far the best achievement,” he said. “You only have to look at the resources available to every other manager in this league.
“If you are a supporter then you don’t care if your (playing) budget is £4m or £44m, you want your team to compete and win football matches.
“When people count our squad up, we have 21 (permanently contracted).
“No other club at this level has 21. Millwall came down and had 34, Middlesbrough have 32. We keep a very strict limit on the number of bodies.”
Today’s Yorkshire derby pits two sides together who were reeling in mid-week following comprehensive losses, to Cardiff City and Brentford respectively, with Evans singing from the same hymn sheet as counterpart Chris Powell ahead of the game.
Both managers are calling on their sides to cut out costly errors, which in the Millers’ case also afflicted them in their two previous away-days which saw them ship an aggregate of eight goals in heavy defeats to Watford and Wolves.
Evans, likely to hand Jack Hunt and Danny Ward starting roles against their former club, added: “We need to cut out the individual errors.
“When we travelled to Wolves, we had one of the best defensive records in the Championship; I think it was the fourth or fifth best. But when you make individual errors against teams of the quality of those in the Championship, you get punished.
“If you break down the goals against Wolves, Watford and even the goals (conceded) against Millwall and Cardiff, they are all silly errors and we have spoken about erasing these.
“If teams cut us open and play some great football, you hold your hand up sometimes and say ‘you know what, you may be better than us’, but I have not seen any of those teams who are genuinely that much better than us, but for our own individual errors.”