Rotherham United: Boss Steve Evans patient in bid to make right loan signings

Jonson Clarke-Harris
Jonson Clarke-Harris

Rotherham United manager Steve Evans is prepared to wait to land the right man in the loan market.

The Millers want to make two signings, with Evans admitting he’d like to bring in another striker.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Championship clash with Brightion and Hove Albion, Evans said: “I keep looking at my phone and hoping that (chief operating officer) Paul Douglas is going to ring me and tell me we’ve got some joy.

“We’re trying to do one or two bits of business, but sometimes it takes a little bit longer if you’re trying to get in players who’ll improve you when you’re already in a tough league like the Championship.”

The Millers had just got Luciano Becchio close to peak fitness when the loan hitman fractured his heel in a training match and returned to parent club Norwich City for treatment

“We’ve got strikers who can step into the hole left by Luciano Becchio other than Jonson Clarke-Harris,” Evans said.

“Jordan Bowery can step in. So can Matt Derbyshire. Okay, he missed a chance the other night but he’s getting in terrific positions and he works so hard for the team.

“But we’ve always said that we’d like to work with another striker if it’s not going to be Luciano.

“You identify the players you’d be interested in and if there is an interest back from them then it can go forward.

“We want at the Millers only players who want to be part of that dressing room, who want to be a part of what we’re trying to do. If they don’t want to be part of it. we simply don’t want them.”

Rotherham, unbeaten in their last four matches, take on Sami Hyypia’s Brighton tomorrow.

The Millers are up to 14th place with 16 points from 13 games, while Brighton are in 20th, just a point above the drop zone with 12.

“They’re a great club. The Amex Stadium is ‘wow’. It’s a £75-80 million facility,” Evans said.

“At the start of the season if you looked at the squad that was there, and who they added to the squad, everyone expected Sami Hyypia to have his players challenging for automatic promotion.

“When you look at the squad on paper, it’s certainly a squad capable of finishing in the top three or four.”

Evans watched Brighton lose at home to Middlesbrough last Saturday, a day after his side had beaten Leeds 2-1 in the Yorkshire derby at New York Stadium.

“They’re a passing side,” he revealed. “Their two full-backs will be high up the pitch. They play like wingers. They’ll be strong in the middle of the park where they’ll pass it and move it. The strikers will link the play up.

“Last Saturday, their first 20 minutes was as good as I’ve seen a team play in the Championship.

“Sami was a fantastic player. He was a superstar footballer and has personal aspirations to be a superstar manager. I think everyone is surprised where they are in the table. They’ve got that amount of personnel that they can change things around.”

Brighton have made a habit of conceding the first goal, and Hyypia said: “That’s the main problem. We need to be more concentrated and stop conceding first. That always changes the game a little bit. When teams come to our place they come to defend very well and try to hit us on the counter.”

Striker Kazenga Lua Lua misses out for Albion after being sent off in the 1-1 draw at Huddersfield in midweek.