ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Steve Evans was effusive in his praise of the high-octane Millers after they ended their bleak Championship home run in magnificent fashion in a 4-2 win over Bolton.
First-half goals from the rejuvenated Ben Pringle, Connor Sammon - his first for the club - and Paul Green and a magnificent fourth from Matt Derbyshire, his maiden league strike for the Millers, saw the hosts race into a 4-0 lead after 56 minutes.
Layte goals from Liam Trotter and Matt Mills provided a semblance of respectibility to the scoreline for the Trotters, who suffered an FA Cup hangover from their highs against Liverpool.
But it was the Millers’ night as they moved five points clear of third-from-bottom Millwall after posting their first home win since October 17 - and first in nine matches in all competitions.
For Glasgow Celtic supporter Evans, it was doubly sweet, coming against a figure he holds in considerable awe in Bolton boss Neil Lennon, former manager at Parkhead.
“Overall, we were fantastic. We have great energy levels, movement and passages of play.
“We were probably disappointed to only turn three-nil in front, as strange as that sounds.
“Matt gives us a great goal and then we give a sloppy couple of goals away. But aside that, I cannot be too condemning on them as we put a lot of energy into that game.
“I know Bolton played against Liverpool on Saturday evening, but we put so much energy into the game that it could have been double that scoreline.
“But in saying that, you always know a Neil Lennon side. I’m a Neil Lennon fan and a Glasgow Celtic supporters, so I did explain to my players before the game that he’s a God to me but that I wanted to beat ‘God’.
“So I am absolutely delighted with that performance. I asked the players to be full of endeavour and spirit and I knew that if our breaks came, we’d score some goals.”
Evans revealed that Adam Hammill had been ill over the weekend, with led to him starting from the bench with Danny Ward unfortunately breaking down on the way to the stadium.
The likes of Conor Newton, on his first league start for United, and Pringle excelled in their absence, with Pringle putting the Millers ahead with a fine second-minute volley following an assist from fellow Geordie Newton, who also played a key role in the hosts’ second goal.
On Newton, he added: “I told Conor eight or nine days ago that I had seen enough and he was ready and I think he took the opportunity. Conor is a good player.
Meanwhile, Evans rubbished rumours of Preston North End making a move for Pringle, who rejected a move to Millwall earlier this month.
Evans confirmed that the club have bids in for two players, with the Millers linked with a move for St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean.
The New York Stadium outfit have also been tipped to bring in former Huddersfield and Barnsley defender Jack Hunt on loan from Crystal Palace, with Evans admitting he has enquired about the player.
On Hunt, he added: “We had a chat with Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, but there’s been nothing in the last few days, that’s for sure’