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Rotherham ready for challenge of £60million opponents Fulham

The extent of Rotherham’s challenge to compete in the Championship is further highlighted this weekend with the visit of Fulham and their £60million wage bill.

The Cottagers were in a relegation fight with the Millers last season, despite parachute payments from their Premier League days and they again are among the highest salary payers in the division.

But Kit Symons’ men have yet to win this campaign, meaning the game takes on extra significance at the bottom of the table, with the Millers also winless.

Given the difference in budgets – around £55million – Fulham ought to be heavy favourites for the clash at New York Stadium, but that won’t deter the Millers in a game they will have grand designs on winning.

“It's two teams in need of a win, isn't it? It's one of the top two or three spenders in the league against the bottom spenders,” boss Steve Evans said. “But that doesn't give you any right to win football matches because you spent more.

“It's not always about money. I think Bournemouth have proved that. We're ready for the international break but we're ready for it with a win. A win makes you enjoy that two weeks without playing even more. 

“The wage bill at Fulham last year was £60.4 million and it will have gone up this year because they have signed players to improve them.

“Then you see us at £4.8 million. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or an accountant to work out the gulf in class you can get with that.

“But what we have to do is park that.

“Are we going to break the wage structure in the dressing room? No, we're not. He knows I wouldn't do it.

“And he knows I will bring players into the football club only if they appear to give us value for money.”

As if Fulham didn’t have a big an advantage already, they also have a spy in the dressing room in Ben Pringle, who left the Millers in the summer.

The 26-year-old, who turned down a new deal in South Yorkshire after four years at the club, is in a position to guide his new team-mates on the intricacies of his old team’s style.

Not that he thinks the will need it.

“I think everyone knows what Rotherham United are going to be like, especially under Steve Evans, you know what the team are going to do,” Pringle said.

“I said to one of the lads, it doesn’t matter who’s on the teamsheet or what name is on the back of the shirt, if you start the game and get about people and hustle and fight for the ball, the rest will take care of itself and that’s what we had massively at Rotherham in the team that got promoted. The Fulham lads will know what to expect.”

Pringle has yet to reach the heights which attracted the London club to take him to Craven Cottage, but after a midweek run-out against Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup he is feeling back to his best, just in time for his Millers reunion.

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