MANAGER Paul Warne is confident Rotherham United have come out of the January transfer window in good shape and that the squad is evolving exactly the way he wants.
New boys Matt Palmer and Caolan Lavery will both be in contention when the Millers look to extend their nine-match unbeaten run at the expense of AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Like earlier signing Michael Smith, both are in their early to mid-20s and are joining a squad which already has a useful streak running through it.
That is OK by Warne, for whom evolution, not revolution, is the watchword as he builds for a push back to the Championship.
“Can they play at a higher level? That is always the million dollar question when you recruit people,” the Millers chief told the Advertiser.
"I think the players are all at an age where they have room for improvement and collectively they're much greater than any individual. They want to play for each other and they want to win.
“You don't reach every summer and get players ten out and get ten in, that's not what we want to do. We're trying to build a team here that performs this year and next and the year after.
"If there are little additions or tweaks now again for whatever reason, that’s fine, but the most successful teams have a solid skeleton.
"If we can get the players to play at a level and try to improve it a little bit each window then great.”
New challenge...for Jonson Clarke-Harris at Coventry.
The Millers saw six departures last month, the list completed by the loan moves of Jonson Clarke-Harris and Alex Bray to Coventry and Forest Green Rovers respectively.
Warne said Clarke-Harris needed the move and wished him well under Sky Blues boss, and former Rotherham chief, Mark Robins.
Bray’s position will be re-evaluated in the summer. He is under contract to the end of next season.
The new 18-month deal handed to experienced centre-half Richard Wood comes as he was close to activating another year on his previous contract. So well has Wood done this season that that clause has been fast-forwarded.
Wood is expected to skipper the side this weekend and Rotherham have a clean bill of health apart from long-term absentees Jamie Proctor and Darren Potter.
Catch this week’s Advertiser for all the big match build-up, including exclusive columns from Paul Warne and Will Vaulks, in our 24-page sports pull-out.