Rotherham United: No palace, no kings, just everybody equal
With its portable buildings and a car-park shared with an adjacent golf club, Rotherham United's training complex is far removed from the splendour of New York Stadium.
Yet their homely base in Parkgate might well be one of the reasons why the club are on their way to pulling off an amazing Championship escape act under new boss Neil Warnock.
As striker Leon Best points out: “It’s not a palace.” But it is a breeding ground for spirit.
The Millers muck in together, and the bond that creates has helped them close the gap on a safety spot from six points to one with three wins and a draw in their last four games.
“Everyone is equal here,” said former Premier League performer Best whose two goals last Saturday helped Rotherham turn a 3-3 deficit against play-off-chasing Derby County into a remarkable 3-3 comeback. “Everyone’s the same. Everyone will do anything for each other.”
“If you come down to the training ground, it’s not a palace. If I was a fan looking from the outside, I’d be proud of the players, proud of what the club is, because it’s not made easy for everyone.”
Best, who joined the club as a free agent in November, says he’s found such unity before only in a promotion squad.
“It reminds me of the year I went up with Newcastle United,” the 29-year-old recalled. “When you’re at clubs, there are normally groups of players or foreigners who stick to their own; not in a malicious way, it’s just what they’re used to.
“All the lads are together. It’s rare you find that.”
Next up for the Millers, before they head into the two-week international break, is trip on Saturday to Ipswich Town who are expected to announce the loan signing today of Bolton Wanderers winger Liam Feeney until the end of the season.
Utility man Greg Halford is available for Rotherham again following a one-match ban, while Warnock will be hoping centre-half Richard Wood is fit after a hamstring problem kept him out of the Rams clash.
Halford has excelled in a defensive midfield role, and the manager said: “We missed Greg in there anchoring against Derby.”
If the Millers don’t lose at Portman Road and other results go their way, they could find themselves out of the bottom three for the first time since Warnock took over seven games ago.
Best has his own idea what kind of reward the players deserve if they do manage to stay up, having looked to be well out of the survival reckoning just three weeks ago.
“If we carry this on, I think the chairman needs to get a new training ground!” he grinned.