Whatever happens today at New York Stadium, Rotherham United new boy Andrew Shinnie will enjoy his Saturday more than he did last week.
The attacking midfielder is in line for his Millers debut against Charlton Athletic having spent his afternoon seven days ago being dragged round the shops!
The 26-year-old had travelled north from parent club Birmingham City late last week hoping to seal his Rotherham loan deal only for the switch to be put on hold and the Scot to find himself back in the Midlands with a blank weekend.
“The Birmingham manager thought it would be completed on Thursday night,” Shinnie revealed “He was confident and let me travel with a view to training on Friday and playing on Saturday.
“But a deal got held up at his end, I couldn’t travel to Cardiff with Rotherham and I had the weekend off.
“Instead of playing football, I was walking around the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham. I was thinking: ‘I need to get this sorted out.’
“To be fair, my parents had come down from Scotland for the weekend, so I got a bit of time to spend with them. I had to just be patient.”
Shinnie’s move to the Millers hinged on Birmingham signing Diego Fabbrini from Watford and, when that went through this week, the Blues man got his wish to join up with Neil Redfearn and his squad for the rest of the season.
“It was a nightmare because I had to wait for other things to happen before I could go and I was in limbo really,” he said. “I was trying to get out and push it, but (Birmingham manager) Gary Rowett obviously had to look after himself first and the club. He said if he could get a body in I’d probably be allowed to go out. I had to wait for everything to fall into place.”
Now Shinnie can’t wait to experience New York again, having starred there last season in Birmingham’s 1-0 win.
“That was a big factor in coming here,” he said. “I loved it last year, obviously because we won. But it was a really nice stadium and the pitch was great. I remember thinking back: ‘I really enjoyed that game.’
“I have had a lack of action at Birmingham this season and went to the manager and asked if I could get a loan move. Right now, Rotherham is a great option for me, I am glad to be here and can’t wait to get going.”
The former Glasgow Rangers player is relishing the opportunity to play his part in the 21st-placed Millers’ Championship survival push and says he’s ready for immediate action after making 17 appearances, including 12 as a substitute, for Rowett’s side this season.
“Maybe I need a couple of games to get up to maximum match fitness, but I am feeling good,” he said. “I played 90 mins a few weeks ago in the FA Cup and I am ready to go.
“First and foremost, I am here to improve the squad, to try to do well and get the team up the table. That’s what we need to do and, from what I have seen so far, the squad is better than where they are in the table.
“Neil’s trying to put his stamp on the team and seems to be picking them up a lot. I also need to get myself going again. My season has not really started yet.
“In a way, I feel I have something to prove. I did really well last season and was looking to kick on and improve and, in my opinion, I haven’t had chance to do that this year.
“But Birmingham have been doing really well, it’s difficult to get in the team and they are up near the play-offs.”
Meanwhile, Redfearn says striker Luciano Becchio is close to his first start since rejoining the Millers earlier this month,
“I don’t think he is a million miles away, to be honest,” the manager said. “He has worked very hard and is in good shape.
The Argentine ended a 16-month injury absence in the 2-2 draw at Cardiff City last week, and Redfearn added: “We are gaining a lot of ground quickly. I want to put him in a good place so he has a chance.
“He had a good cameo role off the bench at Cardiff. I thought he did okay. He put himself about and held the ball up at the time when we needed a focal point. He is not too far away.”