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Familiar faces in Millers squad

'In it together' says Coley as Reds look to chalk up confidence-boosting win

14 November 2019

John Coleman knows about a number of Rotherham players but is fully focused on making sure it’s his players who bounce back on Saturday.

Former Reds midfielder Matt Crooks has scored seven goals in seven games for the Millers and they also have former loan players Michael Ihiekwe, Dan Barlaser and Michael Smith, who scored a hat-trick for Stanley in 2012, in their ranks.

However Coleman is concentrating on getting back to winning ways after their FA Cup first round loss to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday and helping his 19th place side move up the league and get back on the scoresheet after three league games without a goal.

Rotherham were relegated from the Championship last season and are currently 10th in the league.

“They have got a couple of players we know and they are a good side but we know from beating Ipswich that we are a match for anyone on our day when we play to our strengths,” said the Reds boss.

“I have watched the Crewe game again and the first half was as poor as I can remember watching us play. We were poor and lifeless, we had no energy, we did not pass or press.

“Crewe were better than us but they did not have to do a lot to be better than us. You have to think that's as low as we can go and we have to move on now.

“We played a bounce game at Wigan midweek and they had quite a strong side out as they are on international break and it was a good game, we drew 1-1, and hopefully it helped us get our confidence back and back to how we know we can play.

“We need to get points on the board and, while it’s the staff’s responsibility, the players also have to step up to the plate and take responsibility as well.

“We are all in this together and, while we do get upset with results as the management, we do not want to get into a blame culture of them and us.

“Players don’t go out to lose, they are trying to win for the club and for their own careers but sometimes they do not gel.

“We are trying to foster the together spirit here especially with the initiatives owner Andy Holt has introduced and it’s everyone from the staff, the players, the admin staff and the fans who have a role to play in helping to promote this club.”

Stanley will be without experienced defender Mark Hughes who got sent off last week and the Reds lost their appeal against his red card.

“Mark has played a lot of consecutive games for us and it is a blow,” added Coleman. “He is an intelligent footballer and the fact he has played so many games is testament to his ability and the work he does on his fitness.”

Defender Aji Alese is on England Under 19 duty while goalkeeper Joe Bursik is with the England Under 20 camp.

Zaine Francis-Angol is still out injured while Swansea loan striker Courtney Baker-Richardson has re-aggravated his thigh injury which kept him out for almost two months previously.

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