Millers facing crunch test for play-offs bid

AS Rotherham United move ever closer to a longed-for return to their home town and a gleaming new £17m stadium, the football team still has some way to go before being considered anywhere near the finished article.

Sitting 10th in the table, the Millers’ midweek defeat to Torquay United inflicted a major blow to any hopes of gatecrashing the play-offs before the end of the season.

Another setback today at Oxford United, who occupy the final play-off place, could, therefore, prove fatal – a point manager Andy Scott is all too aware of.

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He said: “People talk about must-win games and this really is one for us. If we do, we go two points behind them and right back in it but if they were to win then the gap goes to eight points and it would be a tall order from there.”

Five points separate United from Oxford in the table with Chris Wilder’s side also boasting a game in hand over their Yorkshire rivals.

The on-field struggles this season have been in stark contrast to the huge strides being made off it, courtesy of the club’s new 12,000-capacity stadium.

With the steelwork long since erected and the roof almost on, the pitch area is now the centre of feverish activity as drainage takes place ahead of the new turf being laid.

The handover of the New York Stadium, named because the site once housed a firm who manufactured fire hydrants for the Big Apple, is planned for around July 11.

Rotherham could hand a debut to new loanee Sam Hoskins. Scott added: “He is the sort of predatory striker who will be here to finish things.”