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Rotherham boss Steve Evans admits he got the Greg Halford captaincy wrong

Rotherham boss Steve Evans was not afraid to admit he made a mistake in appointing Greg Halford as captain.

Evans stripped his defender of the armband just seven games into the job after a dismal start to the campaign for the Millers, where they have lost four of their first five Sky Bet Championship outings.

Midfielder Lee Frecklington, the club’s longest serving player and vice captain last season, has been handed the role.

Halford has struggled for form and attracted criticism from fans over his suitability for the role over the first month of the campaign.

The decision came in the wake of a Twitter campaign launched by Rotherham fans to try and get popular midfielder Richie Smallwood appointed skipper.

Despite the clamour from the terraces, it is still a remarkable turnaround by Evans.

The Scot took his time in appointing the former Nottingham Forest man, waiting until an hour before the opening game of the season to announce it.

Evans also said at the time that experienced defender Danny Collins would assist Halford, but he appears to have been overlooked for the job.

"With the benefit of hindsight I have to accept I made the wrong decision with the captaincy at the start of the season,” Evans said.

“But I firmly believe that the changes we have made will benefit players individually and the squad as a whole.

“I have never been afraid to make a decision or to indeed recognise when I have got something wrong. When I do I take action, the opposite is to be stubborn and do nothing about it, that will never be something I am guilty of.

“We have made staggering progress in three years and we must continue to defy the odds, that's what Rotherham United have become in the last few years under the guidance of our chairman Tony Stewart.”

Evans hopes that standing Halford down will allow his defender to concentrate on his own game – something that requires urgent attention having been leader of a defence that has conceded 13 goals in five Championship games.

“I have had many conversations with Greg Halford about the captaincy, and I felt that if we freed him from the extra burden of responsibility then he would have more time to work on his individual game, which would in turn benefit all parties,” Evans added.

“Greg has accepted the decision like a professional, and knows that his experience is still a valued asset to this squad.”

The decision came just 48 hours after Evans made another big call in deciding that the Millers could not continue with on-loan Kelle Roos and Adam Collin as their two main goalkeepers.

Evans cut short Roos’ season-long loan from Derby after bringing in Bournemouth stopper Lee Camp, saying the Dutchman’s inconsistency was proving too costly.

The decision to give Frecklington the armband was surely an easier one.

The 2013/14 player of the year is no stranger to the position, having been the official vice captain over the last two seasons.

“Lee was first and foremost very humbled to have been asked to lead the team, and didn’t have to think twice before accepting,” Evans added. 

“Lee knows the club inside out; he is our longest serving player and has previous experience of leading the team which makes him an ideal candidate for the position.

“I am very pleased for the lad, he has been with us through the League Two and League One days, and I know that this is something that will be right up there with his many achievements whilst with the club.”

Frecklington missed the Millers’ last game against Fulham with a dead leg, but hopes to be fit to lead his side out against Charlton at the Valley on Saturday.

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