Rotherham United v Accrington Stanley: Positive thinking as Ben Wiles prospers with boyhood Millers

DESPITE still being aged just 20, Rotherham United’s talented homegrown midfielder Ben Wiles is already offering sage advice.
Blackpool's Ollie Turton (right) and Rotherham United's Ben Wiles battle for the ball.Blackpool's Ollie Turton (right) and Rotherham United's Ben Wiles battle for the ball.
Blackpool's Ollie Turton (right) and Rotherham United's Ben Wiles battle for the ball.

Listening to the youngster, it is perhaps no surprise Millers manager Paul Warne is so confident that his relatively inexperienced side could eventually blossom into something quite exciting.

Wiles burst onto the scene last year, still as a teenager, and caught the eye even when Rotherham were being vanquished by Manchester City.

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So many promising tyros flicker brightly and then burn out but this one has pushed on, developed and now essentially established himself as a regular starter in Warne’s side.

Still, having worked his way up while so many others fell by the wayside, Wiles – who was born in Swinton but grew up in Rawmarsh just around the corner from Rotherham’s training ground – knows there is no chance to tread water.

“There is a big pressure of doing well as obviously when you get that chance you don’t want to lose it,” he told The Yorkshire Post, ahead of today’s League One game against Accrington Stanley.

“You want to grab it with both hands. For young pros it is really hard to settle yourself, calm yourself down and mature quickly because of the occasions and stuff like that.

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“You can get carried away. You can make one mistake and it affects your performance.

“The main aim – and what I say to help people – is mature quickly.

“Take advice on and reflect on your performances but don’t reflect in a bad way.

“Reflect as in the next time that is going to be better. Every weakness is turned into a positive and it’s something you can get better at.”

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Undoubtedly, Wiles is taking his own advice as it is widely acknowledged that he is getting better and it would be no surprise if he became a Millers legend in his own lifetime.

The player, though, is barely thinking beyond the 90 minutes this afternoon.

He is now central to Warne’s side as they look to navigate League One following last term’s relegation.

“That’s my main goal this season,” he continued.

“To try and get through as many games as possible in the starting 11.

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“I want to try and get on my application that I am playing week in week out. That’s what I want to come across; I want to be starting.

“If one week in training, though, I get left out obviously I deserve that.

“And it’s not easy for me; I still work my hardest out there to try and get in the squad and the gaffer sees that.

“That’s why obviously I’m in it. But that’s my goal.

“I enjoyed last season towards the end as that’s when I really got my game-time. It came alive.

“But League One is a different league.

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“It’s difficult, it’s a test but I’m giving it my all and glad that I’m in the squad.”

Wiles has been associated with Rotherham for a long time now and not just because he graduated from their academy.

“As a kid I used to watch them down at Millmoor,” he explained.

“It always had a place in my heart. My neighbour was a director years ago and we used to get tickets for games and I enjoyed that.

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“But I just loved football. It wasn’t on that Rotherham were always definitely going to be my team.

“But they were a team that I watched and they were close to my heart.”

That said, as a collective, things are not going too smoothly for Rotherham thus far this campaign.

Granted, their away form is stellar but, strangely, they are badly struggling for wins at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

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The reasons why have left many baffled and perturbed in equal measure.

Rotherham sit tenth going into today’s game against Accrington, who are down in 19th,

Wiles said: “We’ve looked at how they’re playing and they come across as a very solid team.

“There’s ways to get at them and I’m sure we’ll do that on Saturday but we’re not thinking it’s going to be an easy game.

“It’s going to be a task for us. They play good football.

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“As for the home form, I see a lot of teams come here and they slow it down a bit.

“They make us make the first move.

“Sometimes it can affect our gameplan. But I think it’s just down to us, really to sort it.”