Why Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor has been waiting for today's meeting with his players since the first half of July

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Matt Taylor has been waiting for today since the first half of July.

With the transfer window now done and dusted and several existing players on the mend following injury and hopefully back in the first-team fray soon, the Millers manager finally knows what he is working with until January at least.

A squad 'presentation' meeting will take place at the club's Roundwood training ground today.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In its own way, it will mark the beginning of the season in earnest for the Millers after a disrupted August when the club were chasing new signings and also hampered by a mini injury crisis and selection issues.

Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Taylor said: "I will sit in front of the players and present just the squad. If that is not enough competition to drive them every single day, then I don't know what is.

"As they now have to think about who else is competing with them.

"I have not been able to do that yet and it's the meeting that you want in week two of pre-season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"For recruitment reasons, injuries and availability and the unknown, I have only been able to do it on Thursday.

"It will be interesting to see how they react because I am expecting more from them in terms of pushing from within. The team has picked itself, but it will soon be totally different."

While the international break will afford late-window signings Sam Nombe, Sebastian Revan and Arvin Appiah some valuable time to assimilate, it will also enable some key players to bolster their fitness and put themselves into first-team contention by the time the Millers take the field for their Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town on Saturday week.

Before then, Taylor is looking forward to seeing a high level of internal competition between his returning players, recent arrivals and those who have been involved for the opening month of the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They were handed a few days off earlier this week in preparation for what will be an intense period.

Making no apologies for that, Taylor added: "We are in for the next ten days as I want to see them go at each other.

"There's a lot who are getting up to full fitness and who need to spend time on the training ground for different reasons.

"Even for the players who are starting training, they need to have other good players around them for when they are back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"As the window closed, players are coming back from the treatment room as opposed to from the outside and that's six more (players) to add. These aren't players who will just be in the squad.

"The last time we saw Shane Ferguson was when he put his body on the line against Middlesbrough (in May) for the cause of keeping this club in the division which he wanted to play in the following season.

"There's no pressure on Shane, but he will be back at some stage. Grant Hall, Hakeem Odoffin, Lee Peltier, Jamie Lindsay and Georgie Kelly are also close.

"These are players I am expecting to be on the pitch (competing)."