Quality and maturity key for Millers chief

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Steve Evans wants his players to keep their emotions in check as Rotherham United attempt to force their way into the automatic promotion places.

The Millers have been up and down in recent weeks, none more so than last Saturday when they lost at Morecambe and then followed that up by hammering promotion rivals Exeter 4-1 three days later.

That moved Rotherham back to within three points of the top three with a game in hand, which is a mouth-watering Yorkshire derby with in-form Bradford on Tuesday.

“We went into Exeter, as we’ll go into today’s game with Fleetwood, with the spirits high,” said Evans.

“Experience tells you that you have to keep the players on an even keel, keep the pressure off them and let them concentrate and go out and play.

“Because we genuinely have some terrific players and when they get the confidence to go forward and play and express themselves they are hard to stop.”

When they are buoyant, Rotherham are a team that can win a game in quick bursts, as they did when they thumped Oxford with four goals in 15 minutes, and again against Exeter – albeit in not such a short space of time.

“Obviously, the early goals help you a lot,” said Evans.

“Goals change games. If we’d have got a clear-cut penalty at Morecambe after six minutes we’d have more than likely got the first goal and won the game comfortably.

“But regardless, we’re going into these last four games with a team in really good form and that gives you a chance.”

Fleetwood, like Rotherham, have had one of the bigger budgets in the division this season but the Football League newcomers have slipped off the promotion pace and dropped to 10th after one win in six.

“They’re still tough,” warned Evans.

“I saw them share four goals with Gillingham recently. They dominated the champions-elect and should have won 5-2.

“It will be a much closer affair than Tuesday and I just hope we show the quality and maturity of performance that gets us the win we need.”

Evans will continue to watch from the stands, as he did on Tuesday alongside Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers.