Leading lights are told to claim centre stage

STEVE EVANS is urging his players to step up to the big stage at a packed New York Stadium and embrace the occasion against derby rivals Chesterfield.

The Millers, despite a catalogue of injuries, are nestled in the final play-off spot, but have work to do if they are to finish in one of the automatic promotion positions.

Their home form has brought just two wins in their last seven league outings. In the same amount of games on the road, Evans’s men have pocketed five victories.

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Evans, whose side thumped Bradford City 4-0 in their other big home derby this term, said: “We will need big characters, big players and big performances and your big players should enjoy these occasions, it is what we are in football for.

“We train all week for the responsibility to perform, almost like actors and our stage is the New York Stadium.

“There will be a bit of an edge, but the good players take that in their stride and their adrenaline pumps.

“Derby day comes along and it feels a little bit different to any normal Saturday and the attendance from fans from both clubs will do the stadium real justice.

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“The expectation from Rotherham United fans is massive and it’s very high among the Chesterfield fans as well. There will be around 12,500 people in the stadium and the atmosphere will be electric and we know if we win, it will pop us into third or fourth place. If we win our remaining games, no-one can stop us going into League One.

“Our fans can give us an edge. Two-hundred Millers fans did that when I was Crawley manager when they came down and outsang 3,000 home fans and with 10,000 behind us, that will be special.”

Evans is confident if the Millers match their diligent efforts in the second half of Tuesday’s win at Torquay, they will be smiling.

He added: “If we work at our absolute maximum, we tend to be better than the rest. But unless we get those 11 players working at that ratio, we struggle.”

Evans, who has rubbished rumours of a possible move to managerless Notts County, has hinted that key defender Craig Morgan could be involved after recovering from an ankle problem.