Quality strikers are the key for Millers

Kari Arnason
Kari Arnason
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STEVE EVANS has pledged to shop on quality street in his quest to turn the Millers into League One promotion contenders.

The Millers manager, whose side welcome Carlisle United this afternoon, is plotting further transfer raids ahead of next week’s loan deadline, having already acquired talented Blackpool forward Nouha Dicko on loan this week.

The Millers are in the market for in-form St Johnstone marksman Stevie May, although the SPL outfit rate the 21-year-old in the £500,000 bracket.

Evans has also made a six-figure offer for a player based in England, with both deals thought to be initially loans leading to a permanent transfer.

The dual moves, allied to the deal to bring Dicko to South Yorkshire, is a certain marker of the club’s intent under go-ahead chairman Tony Stewart, who has consistently supported Evans in the transfer market.

Evans has been able to formulate a strong squad at the New York Stadium, with the Scot’s main preoccupation now being to bring in quality rather than quantity.

His striking pool continues to be an area of attention, mindful that Danny Hylton and Daniel Nardiello are out on loan at Bury.

Evans said: “We want real competition in every area of the pitch and I think we have got that. But we still feel there are areas in the squad where we want to add more quality, not quantity. I think the days of quantity have gone and we have a chairman who will help us do that.

“Strikers normally create competition for each other on the pitch and you can never have enough ammunition when you are trying to win or save a game. On the bench, you want two or three strikers and different kinds of strikers and that’s how it should be.”

Meanwhile, Evans admits everyone at the club feels for Icelander Kari Arnason, whose World Cup dream was dashed when they lost out to Croatia 2-0 on aggregate in their two legged play-off.

He continued: “If he is 100 per cent, Kari willl play (against Carlisle). I expect the big fella to be down because he cares; Kari is very proud to represent his country and proud of what they have achieved.

“He is down and disappointed as any man would be. It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Kari would have got to go to a World Cup final.”

Today’s game has extra significance for current Millers’ first-choice goalkeeper Adam Collin, who is set to face the club he left in the summer.

The Cumbria-born goalkeeper, who recently claimed the No 1 jersey at the New York Stadium after replacing Scott Shearer in the starting line-up, spent four seasons at Brunton Park after joining in 2009.

Collin, who hails from Penrith, was wanted by sides in Scotland and England before deciding to join the Millers.