ALAN STUBBS is targeting a play-off push with Rotherham United in 2016-17 following his appointment as Millers manager.
The Merseysider, the club’s fourth boss in just over eight months, has signed a three-year contract after quitting Hibernian, with compensation to be paid to the Edinburgh outfit.
Despite the Millers finishing last season just one place above the Championship drop zone, Stubbs believes that being in play-off contention and finishing in the top 10 is a realistic aspiration for a side who were one of the form teams in the last few months of the 2015-16 season after a remarkable resurgence.
The 44-year-old, who had been the subject of interest from Rotherham back in the autumn, said: “I would like to see us certainly in the top 10 and pushing for a play-off place and I think that tells you everything about my discussions with the chairman (Tony Stewart).
“It has to be like that. One thing that I was impressed with is not just his love for the club, but he is a very realistic chairman.
“The club is very stable. He is not saying he wants Premier League football in three or four years’ time, he is saying he wants to see the club progress.
“Ultimately, the aim has to be to get into the Premier League otherwise there is no point.
“You have to aim as high as you can and if we can get that progression, then the club will be financially more stable and as a result of that you can bring better players to the football club.”
Stubbs believes the time was right to leave Hibs, despite just leading them to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years, and insists that he has left on good terms.
Stewart was also adamant that relations between the two clubs were not soured by protracted talks over compensation for Stubbs, who ultimately took the decision to resign, despite having a year’s deal still to run.
Stubbs said: “It certainly wasn’t a row, the club have got a really good relationship with Hibs and I would not have wanted it any other way.
“It was done very amicably and the clubs are happy with the way it has been resolved.
“It got to the stage where the chairmen spoke to each other and everything was sorted.
“They tried to keep me. Sometimes in football you go through a course where that is normal.
“But once I knew of the interest, I wanted to be in a position where I could at least speak to them. When I did speak to the chairman about his vision and what he wanted to achieve, very quickly I came to terms with this being the right choice.”
Stubbs, assisted by his Hibs deputy John Doolan, insists he will not raid his former club, with the Millers having been linked with a move for prolific striker Jason Cummings.
Stubbs also says he has no plans to add any more personnel to his backroom team and is happy to work with the Millers’ coaching staff as it stands.
He does plan to make player recruitment an early priority, conscious that the club recently released 11 players.
The new Millers chief is also due to speak today with five players offered terms to stay at the club – Kirk Broadfoot, Matt Derbyshire, Richard Wood, Stephen Kelly and Leon Best.
He added: “I have already hit the ground running, we are already looking at recruitment. By the time we come back in, June 30, I would like to think that we have made inroads.
“There is a good nucleus of the squad to work with. We will see what happens with the ones who have been offered contracts.
“With the rest, it gives me a chance to really put my stamp on the team. We obviously have a lot of work to do, but it is work we are really looking forward to.”
Pledging that he will not be targeting a move for Cummings, he added: “I have left on good terms and for me I would like to think I am a decent man.
“To go back there right now as soon as I have left is not morally the right thing to do.”