Rotherham United No 2 Paul Raynor has revealed how boss Steve Evans laid down the law to new recruits to keep the club’s famous team spirit intact.
The Millers looked impressive on Wednesday night as they despatched Championship big boys 1-0 and worked tirelessy at New York Stadium.
Raynor said: “The new lads were told from day one: ‘This is how we work, we work as a unit, we’re all in it together. We play one way, we play with real energy, we play with real enthusiasm, and if you can’t do that or you don’t want to do that and you want to be a one-man band, then don’t sign. The Gaffer is very straight with that and he tells them, if you can can’t take a telling-off at times …
“He’s very in your face, he’s very demanding, but he’ll get the best out of you, and all the guys have bought into it from the beginning.
“They were very clear about what they were walking into. We work very hard as a team, we work very hard as a club, we are what we are and we’re very pleased with the way the boys have gelled.”
The Millers saw off Forest with a well-taken 65th-minute goal from Kieran Agard, with most of the 11new arrivals seeing action.
Raynor added: “We were impressive in periods. I thought we were good without the ball, which is important because they had some good technical players. They had that extra man in midfield at times that can cause you a problem but I thought that the team shape and how solid we were out of possession was pleasing.
“We are going to come up against different formations, different systems, and I thought we handled it quite well. They were quite fluent, but we worked hard without the ball. I also thought we caused them real problems when we had the ball.
“We are a little bit more direct than them, and we had a bit more penetration. We put more balls in the box with more quality.”
The Millers have held initial talks with Agard over a new contract and Raynor said: “We’d certainly love him to stay. He’s full of enthusiasm, he’s full of life and he’s developing as a footballer.
“He’s flying. He’s added a couple of goals in pre-season and he seems to be going from strength to strength. We’d love to keep him here but that will be between the chairman and the chief exec and Kieran and his representatives.”
Meanwhile, Rotherham may decide to bid again for Swindon’s Massimo Luongo, the Swindon midfielder for whom they have already made a reported £600,000 offer,
The club watched him in action in a friendly against Southampton earlier this week and now Evans plans to talk with chairman Tony Stewart.
George Thorne, Derby County’s £2 million signing from West Brom is out for nine months after suffering a knee injury. The Millers’ opening match of the Championship season is against the Rams at the iPro Stadium on August 9.