NEIL REDFEARN is calling on Rotherham United to be early risers as his Millers side embark on their first outing of 2016 at Preston North End.
Rotherham have not visited Deepdale since meeting the Lancastrians in the League One play-off semi-finals at the end of 2013-14 with Redfearn seeking to address his side’s vital away statistics – the Millers having taken the lead just once in a league away game since September 26.
The game sees Redfearn renew acquaintances with someone he knows well from his days at Leeds United in Simon Grayson, with the Millers chief urging for his side to be proactive.
He said: “Preston are always organised. I know Simon Grayson first hand. I worked under him at Leeds in the academy. His sides have a good work ethic so it will be a tough game for us.
“But we’re in a good run of form – four wins in eight games – so we’ve got to take a lot of heart from that, take a lot of confidence from that.
“We’ve got to go to Preston and take the game to them. That first goal and getting your noses in front is important.
“I think it will be a closely-fought contest and I don’t think there’ll be much in it.”
Redfearn has confirmed he is hoping to extend the loans of Farrend Rawson, Tony Andreu and Grant Ward as he plots a transfer path and aims to put his imprint on the Millers.
He added: “It’s something we are on with. All three have done well. Rawson has been a mainstay for the majority of the season.
“Grant has really blossomed into his position. He’s an outstanding young talent. He’s a big feature in our upturn in form and results.
“Tony has come back into the fold and done well. He’s looked bright.
“He’s somebody we’ll be looking to try to keep hold of.”