DOING it tough is perhaps the best phrase to sum up the current situation at Rotherham United.
A harsh festive season incorporating losses to West Brom, Bolton Wanderers and Bristol City has dropped injury-hit Millers into the relegation zone, with manager Paul Warne’s side aiming for a change of fortune in the new year after a difficult end to 2018.
A haul of just two points from a possible 18 available in December has heightened the need for a relieving three points this afternoon with the Millers on a nine-match winless streak stretching back to November 3.
Billy Jones and Richie Towell both miss today’s game through suspension, and the Millers are down to their last fit and available recognised striker in Michael Smith, with Jamie Proctor and Kyle Vassell both currently sidelined.
It has intensified Rotherham’s need for a forward addition in the January window with a new central midfielder being another priority area after Ryan Manning’s return to QPR following a half-season loan at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The Irishman, who scored four times in 18 appearances, joined the Millers on a season-long loan deal in August, but the Hoops chose to exercise their option of a recall in January, with the player having returned to Loftus Road.
I have given my recruitment team the seven names I want. It is their job to go out and try to get them. Then I will have to meet players and all that. They are ones I think will improve us.Paul Warne
Meanwhile, manager Warne has revealed that he has a total of seven targets during the window, including a new winger.
He said: “I have given my recruitment team the seven names I want. It is their job to go out and try to get them. Then I will have to meet players and all that. They are ones I think will improve us.
“I am not saying I am signing all seven, but they are the seven from which the two or three or four will come from.
“We need to turn some of our good performances into points That might happen with a different player here and there.
“Hopefully by the early part of January we will have some new faces in, but I am also well aware of how frustrating the window is.”
Last six games: Rotherham LDDLLL Preston LWWLLD.
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire).
Last time: Rotherham 1 Preston 3; November 5, 2016; Championship.