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Rotherham v Burnley: 5 things to look out for

It may be the end of an era at Rotherham after Steve Evans' departure earlier this week but life goes on and the Millers resume their Championship campaign against Burnley on Friday night.

The Sky TV cameras are in attendance for Eric Black's first game in caretaker charge and all eyes will be on the Millers against a promotion favourite.

Here's five things to look out for in the game.

What will life after Steve Evans be like?

It's April 2012 since the Millers last played without the involvement of Steve Evans and Paul Raynor and in footballing terms that is a long time, so long we were all probably a little bit institutionalised to it. The histrionics on the sidelines and the face-palming press conferences were just as normal as seeing Evans' side fight until the death and provide great drama on the field. But that is no more and the focus will be on just how different the side will be - if at all - post-Evans. It's almost certainly going to be less eventful on the touchline, with the collective woops heard by fourth officials around the country registered in space, but will the DNA of the side change? Will they play with more freedom? Will they be more solid? Will they keep the ball better? Will they have that great desire and motivation? Over the next few weeks we will begin to find out exactly how good a job Evans was doing.

Eric Black

Now in his sixth caretaker role, Eric Black is charged with sending the team into battle against Burnley and in doing so is in pole position to make himself leading candidate for the full-time job - if he wants it. He has got enormous respect in the game and certainly within the club as the players are known to be keen on his coaching methods, so there should be no problem with getting the best out of them. The Scot has only been at the club since the summer but will have formed opinions on players and tactics. It's almost certain that the Millers will look more solid against the Clarets tomorrow and there may be a step back from the in-your-face style that Evans deployed so successfully. Black has indicated he sees no reason to make massive changes on the back of successive wins, but he will want to put his own stamp on the team, especially if he is wanting the job on a permanent basis.

Will Rotherham be camera shy?

In typical Evans style, the Millers were never beaten on live television under their former boss as his unwavering ability to get his team up for the big occasion saw them go five games without defeat on Sky. How much influence Evans had on that will be put to the immediate test on Friday with the clash against the Clarets being shown to the nation. Their first appearance since they beat Leeds last October comes at a good time, with the Millers picking up seven points from their last four games. All the attention will undoubtedly be on Evans' departure, but can the Millers show the world that life goes on?

Who will replace Vadis?

Evans is not the only person to leave New York this week as the hugely influential Vadis Ojidja-Ofoe has returned to Norwich after the end of his loan spell. The Millers tried to keep him after he played a vital part in taking seven points from the last four games, but the Belgian wanted to try and get in the side at Carrow Road. So attention now turns to who will replace Ojidja-Ofoe in Black’s starting XI. Two of the potential options – skipper Lee Frecklington and Paul Green – are not likely to be fit, leaving Chris Maguire, Grant Ward or Emmanuel Ledesma as the three candidates. All three of those could provide a like-for-like replacement, or if Black considers a switch of formation, Ward could come into a central area. Either way Ojidja-Ofoe is likely to be missed.

Will Joey Barton get his New York run-out?

If rumours were true earlier on in the season then Joey Barton could easily have been lining up against Burnley on Friday after Evans was linked with a move for the then out-of-contract midfielder. However, Barton instead signed for the Clarets and looks set to make his full debut in front of the Sky cameras. However, how fit he is remains to be seen, having missed out on a full pre-season and it is unlikely he will be able to get through the 90 minutes. The former England international is just one of a number of players with Premier League pedigree that will fill the Clarets’ teamsheet tomorrow night, with Andre Gray also set to return from a hamstring injury. It will be another test for the Millers, without doubt.

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