Rotherham v AFC Wimbledon: New faces have added to impetus at Millers

Eyeing Millers debut: Blades striker Caolan Lavery.
Eyeing Millers debut: Blades striker Caolan Lavery.
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THE MAXIM that successful sides invariably buy from a position of strength has certainly rung true for many of England’s leading sides over the years.

Back in the Seventies, Liverpool – and also Nottingham Forest towards the end of that decade – were past masters at making key additions to their squads when they were in a rich vein of form.

That same principle has been apparent, albeit lower down at Rotherham United during a flourishing start to 2018.

While most Yorkshire clubs were eager to cast aside and draw a line under their January blues, the Millers could not get enough of the opening month to 2018 and have filled their boots to propel themselves into the top six in League One on the back of a fine nine-match unbeaten sequence, which has made their rivals sit up and take notice.

In a bid to inject further momentum, keep standards sky-high and build a winning culture, the Millers have made some choice January additions, with two of them in midfielder Matt Palmer and loan striker Caolan Lavery eyeing debuts in this afternoon’s home game with AFC Wimbledon.

That said, given that their new team-mates head into the game on the back of a run of six wins in their past nine matches and no losses, they might just have to bide their time today.

But it has also had the effect of reminding those currently in possession of first-team jerseys that they must continue to perform to retain them.

On a win-win situation, manager Paul Warne said: “Matty Palmer came in and Newelly (Joe Newell) said: ‘How did we manage to get him?’ He was a bit, like, surprised. Maybe ‘surprised’ is the wrong word. He was pleasantly shocked that we had signed him.

“The quality of player we have brought in is good. It is not like we have brought in players just to sit on the bench. They have come in to compete.

“It has given the lads who are in the team a bit of a jolt. They are looking over their shoulders. The new boys are good lads. They have fitted in straightaway.

“I have got rid of the lads who are not going to play a part. We are stronger for the signings.

“New faces are exciting for the fans to see. It is good to have different people at the training ground.

“From a coaching point of view, it makes you revisit your trigger points, like our pressing and this and that.

“Because there are new faces in the room, it makes you go through it all again, which re-educates the lads. That is good for us.”

Warne has revealed that highly-rated young midfielder Ben Wiles may be loaned to a National League side to continue his footballing education after he failed to move on deadline day.

Warne explained: “We tried to get Ben out but nothing suitable materialised. Because of his age, we might be able to get him out to the National League now the window has shut. We need him to play games because I see him playing a big part at this club in the future.

“He needs to be playing football. We will still endeavour to get him out on loan.”