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Five things we learned from the Leicester game

Rotherham continued their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 home friendly defeat to Premier League Leicester on Wednesday.

It was just their second reverse from seven games so far, with one to play, but there were plenty of positive signs to take from the clash, especially in the second half.

Here's five things we learned from the game.

1) Grant Ward is as good as his early pre-season form suggested

The on-loan Tottenham midfielder has had star billing in pre-season so far after his impressive goalscoring start, but he proved that it wasn't just a flash in the pan against the best opposition he has come up against. After a quiet first half, Ward came to life after the break and showed all his attacking prowess, with a surging run from the middle, a range of raking passes and of course another goal. And he doesn't seem to do tap-ins as the youngster smacked in another 20-yard effort that make experienced Foxes keeper Mark Schwarzer look a fool with its dip and swerve. He also put his foot in at the other end of the field and barring injury between now and August 8, Ward looks a certain starter when MK Dons come to New York.

2) Jordan Bowery is still as frustrating as ever

For a striker that cost £250,000 - the most Rotherham had ever paid for a player at the time - it's fair to say Jordan Bowery didn't deliver enough last season. He had his moments, mainly coming off the bench to make an impact, with goals against Bournemouth, Blackpool, Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich, but that contribution was at odds with his price tag. Boss Steve Evans said in the close season that an improvement was expected this time around but on the evidence of his performance against Leicester, it's as you were - playing in glimpses. For the most part he was ineffective and lightweight and when put through on goal sent a chance wide that had you putting your head in your hands. But then there were flashes of a player, one who was powerful, ran at defences and looked like he could be a main striker. Assistant Paul Raynor admitted after the game that they still don't know how to get the best out of Bowery and unlocking that puzzle is a priority. Answers on a postcard.

3) Aidy White is an exciting threat

It's to be hoped that Joe Mattock gets fit as soon as possible so that Aidy White can play on the left wing, where, if his display against the Foxes is anything to go by, he can be a real threat for the Millers this season. After playing left-back for the first half he moved forward after the break and showcased his pace and trickery, getting into decent positions on several occasions. That dynamic, direct approach is something that has been lacking in recent years and it was great viewing, for as well as Ben Pringle did for the Millers, he never beat a man for pace on the outside. If White can just sharpen up his final ball then Evans could have a real assist-maker on his hands.

4) Young and old combine well

One is 34 and been there and done it, the other is 22 and played six senior games, but together Danny Collins and Tom Thorpe look to be the perfect fit in central defence. They certainly showed the beginnings of a fruitful partnership on Wednesday. Collins marshalled the back four superbly, won his headers and made his tackles, while Thorpe also looked competent at doing the dirty work but was true to his word about his ability to bring the ball out of defence and start attacks. With Farrend Rawson getting treatment on a niggle at Derby and Kirk Broadfoot banned for 10 games it looks like being two from three centre-halves against the Dons and after this promising display, Richard Wood might have to prepare for a stint on the bench.

5) The Millers are versatile

Versatility has been a buzzword for the Millers this pre-season, with a lot of the 11 new signings able to fill more than one position and we got our first glimpse of that against Leicester. There were three people who played left-back, with White, Frazer Richardson and Collins all operating in other positions throughout the 90 minutes, while Emmanuel Ledesma operated on both flanks. Lee Frecklington also played in a central role and on the right as Greg Halford, Danny Ward, Chris Maguire and Tom Thorpe all stuck to one position, but are capable of playing more. With the Millers aiming to have a squad of around 22 players recruiting the way they have means they will effectively have a squad of about 30.

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