#blog-pager{clear:both;margin:30px auto;text-align:center; padding: 7px;} .blog-pager {background: none;} .displaypageNum a,.showpage a,.pagecurrent{padding: 3px 7px;margin-right:5px;background:#E9E9E9;color: #888;border:1px solid #E9E9E9;} .displaypageNum a:hover,.showpage a:hover,.pagecurrent{background:#CECECE;text-decoration:none;color: #000;} .showpageOf{display:none!important} #blog-pager .showpage, #blog-pager .pagecurrent{font-weight:bold;color: #888;} #blog-pager .pages{border:none;} - See more at: http://labstrikes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/add-calendar-style-date-widget-for-blog-post.html#sthash.Js2lbh9N.dpuf


Millers entering crucial period

With Rotherham about to resume action from their latest international break, there is no doubt that it’s business time for Steve Evans’ side.

Back-to-back home games with Birmingham and Blackpool kick-off a run of seven games which brings 2014 to a close and is likely to have a massive say on what 2015 may hold.

The return to the Championship – their first campaign at this level for 10 years - has been a steady one so far for the Millers.

There have been stand-out wins against Leeds and Blackburn and, bar the horror show at Reading earlier this month, they have competed well in every game, with a number of points squandered in matches they should have won but didn’t.

Indeed, there has been times when it has been difficult to remember that it was less than two years ago since they were getting beaten at home to the likes of Barnet and Bristol Rovers.

After 17 matches and having played all of the top 10, they are 19th in the table and there won’t be many people who wouldn’t accept that position at the end of the season, though Evans will tell you he is one of them.

But throughout the entire campaign so far there has been the fall-back coming out of the Millers camp of ‘finding our feet’, ‘learning about the Championship’ and reassurances after draws or defeats that ‘if we play like that all season we’ll be fine’.

Steve Evans will demand the best from his side over the next six weeks
Well now is the time for the Millers to find their feet, put all their lessons into practice, stop missing opportunities to get wins on the board and prove they are going to be fine.

The next seven games could arguably be described as the most important of the season.

After the two clashes at New York with teams currently residing in the bottom three, the Millers head to Cardiff and host Nottingham Forest.

Anything from those two games will be a bonus, but they are followed by a trip to Wigan, the Boxing Day visit of Huddersfield and then the reverse fixture with Blackpool.

A healthy return of double-figure points from that run should be a realistic target and if that is achieved it will give the Millers breathing space above the drop zone and mean they will see in the new year looking up at mid-table rather than over their shoulders.

After all, only three points separates Evans' side with Sheffield Wednesday in 13th position.

Get through those seven games without a win and, regardless of the tight nature of the Championship where a run of victories can propel you up the table, the Millers will be in a real fight in the second half of the campaign.

The tone will be set with the forthcoming double-header at home. To call them must-win games is far too drastic a measure. But they would have been earmarked before the season started as ones where the Millers could pick up some points.

That said, Birmingham are no longer the rudderless ship that got thumped 8-0 at home to Bournemouth.

Gary Rowett has come into the club and immediately organised and solidified them - they have taken five points from games with Wolves, Watford and Cardiff - and they will be targeting this clash in just the same manner that Rotherham are.

But if the Millers can rediscover the attacking verve and intensity they found in recent home games with Leeds and Fulham and build on their clean sheet against Sheffield Wednesday last time out, they can prosper.

The last time Rotherham hosted City they earned a point to effectively guarantee survival back in 2001/02 in their final home game of the season.

Although it took them until the end of the campaign to avoid relegation, there was a similarly crucial period mid-season for Ronnie Moore's side all those years ago.

After a far worse start - with no wins from their opening 10 games - the Millers made hay and took 14 points from a run of games against Grimsby, Portsmouth, Coventry, Stockport, Walsall, Wimbledon and Crewe.

The opposition this time round looks far more daunting, but the current crop could do with a similar points haul and it all starts against Birmingham on Saturday.

Latest News




Copyright 2016