Tony Stewart makes new year pledge to next permanent Rotherham United manager

ROTHERHAM UNITED chairman Tony Stewart has pledged to support the club’s next permanent manager in the January transfer window as the Millers seek to arrest a difficult start to 2023-24.

The managerless South Yorkshire club, in the Championship relegation zone after recording just two wins in their opening 16 matches, return to action after the international break at home to high-flying Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at a sold-out AESSEAL New York Stadium on Friday evening.

Interim-manager Wayne Carlisle, supported by coaches Dan Green and Scott Brown - who all remain at the club following the sacking of Matt Taylor - have been entrusted with leading preparations for the Leeds game.

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Rotherham have drawn up a shortlist of candidates ahead of an interview process, with an announcement unlikely before Friday’s derby.

The likes of Gary Rowett and Leam Richardson are among contenders thought to be under scrutiny with Stewart confirming last week that the club will be looking to appoint an experienced Championship manager who has ‘done it’ at second-tier level.

The Millers, four points adrift of the side currently just out of the relegation zone in Huddersfield Town, have nine matches remaining in 2023.

After backing Taylor in the summer - with the club breaking their transfer record twice in quick succession to bring in Christ Tiehi and Sam Nombe - support will be provided to his full-time successor.

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Stewart told The Yorkshire Post: “What I have always done - and I’ve never failed - is satisfy the manager.

Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Getty Images.Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Getty Images.
Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Getty Images.

"I am not qualified, after 15 years, to say: ‘he’s a good player, what about him or whatever’.

"If someone suggests something to me, I pass it on. I am still like I was 15 years ago, I don’t get involved (in tactics). I never have done. Managers have got to manage.

"After a narrow escape last season, I put more money in. We are not expecting miracles, but are expecting to improve year on year.

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"It’s the most I have ever spent and I have put in a few (more) millions of pounds on top of our budget. When Huddersfield went up, we were on the same budget as them."

Stewart admits that taking the decision to part company with Taylor, just over a year after appointing him, represented one of the hardest calls of his stint in charge.

But he felt it was necessary, with the club's appalling away record - they have not won on their travels for just over a year - hastening the decision.

He continued: "It was (hard), because he (Taylor) is a bright individual and he worked really hard. His planning was superb.

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"(But) When you are 16 matches in, you have already gambled on 16. We are looking at someone to come in - and I always like them to be here for three, four, five years or whatever.

"I am pleased we have done something which will bring about change and invited in a wide audience.

"We have had a sackful of managers in work and out (get in touch) and there’s some good quality.

"There’s some good runners in this."