Joe Mattock and contracts, Dan Barlaser, REG, Mickel Miller, Angus MacDonald and EFL Trophy prize money ... back-page Rotherham United news from today's Advertiser

Joe Mattock and contracts, Dan Barlaser, REG, Mickel Miller, Angus MacDonald and EFL Trophy prize money ... back-page Rotherham United news from today's Advertiser

By Paul Davis | 03/03/2022

Joe Mattock and contracts, Dan Barlaser, REG, Mickel Miller, Angus MacDonald and EFL Trophy prize money ... back-page Rotherham United news from today's Advertiser
Joe Mattock

 

ROTHERHAM United are handing long-serving Joe Mattock a final chance to save his career at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The defender is approaching the expiry of his contract and there is a possibility he will be released after seven years with the club.

But manager Paul Warne plans to delay a final decision until the close of the campaign and could put a new deal on the table if the 31-year-old becomes a bigger part of the first-team picture during the club’s League One promotion run-in.

“I spoke to Joe in the (January transfer) window because he wasn’t getting much game-time,” the boss said. “We had a private conversation about that. We have an open and honest relationship.

“If Joe plays a part and we can keep him fit between now and the end of the season I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to it.”

Rotherham are already in negotiations with several players about extending their stays but Mattock, who has made more than 200 league appearances since his 2015 switch from Sheffield Wednesday, isn’t one of them.

The left-back, who has been converted to a left-sided centre-half, has been troubled by injuries for the last two years and has played only 19 times so far this season. He started last weekend’s win at Plymouth Argyle and came on as a substitute during Tuesday’s draw at Shrewsbury Town

Ankle surgery restricted him to 15 outings last term and he has suffered with achilles and hamstring issues this time around.

He told the Advertiser in December that he would love to remain at New York but accepted he would need to play more often for that to happen. The club have 11 league matches left for him to make his mark.

Warne is a huge admirer of the player but the boss, even though he is keeping an open mind, has shown in the past that he isn’t afraid to make tough decisions if he feels an exit is in the Millers’ best interests.

“I had a brilliant relationship with Billy Jones and Shaun MacDonald, but I just felt their time had passed,” he said. “Maybe that’s not the best example because I let both of them go.

“There were times with Richard Wood that we were thinking if it was a season too much but he always proves us wrong, which is great. I am still hopeful that Joe will be the same.”

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ROTHERHAM United hope to have Dan Barlaser back in their ranks for Saturday’s League One match of the day against MK Dons.

The midfielder missed Tuesday’s trip to Shrewsbury Town to be with partner Jade, who was due to give birth to the couple’s first child.

He is expected to train with the squad this morning and be available for the AESSEAL New York showdown that pits the table-topping Millers against the third-placed Dons.

“He kindly sent the lads a video message wishing them all the best,” said manager Paul Warne after the 0-0 draw at New Meadow.

“Hopefully everything will have gone well and we’ll welcome him back on Thursday.”

Centre-half Rarmani Edmonds-Green is also looking to make the matchday 18 after training at Roundwood while Rotherham headed to Shropshire to take on the Shrews.

The centre-half is fit again after a hamstring injury that has kept him out since the end of January.

“He came through a tough session on Monday then stayed behind on Tuesday to train again,” said assistant boss Richie Barker.

“He’s training with the main group again on Thursday with a view to possibly being involved at the weekend.”

Left wing-back Mickel Miller rejoins group training today following his month-long recovery from a hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, central defender Angus MacDonald was handed a first start against the Shrews since being laid low in pre-season by an unspecified condition.

Warne said: “It’s really good for him and I’m really pleased for him. He was pretty comfortable.”

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ROTHERHAM United will take their EFL Trophy prize money this season to £200,000 when they head to Hartlepool United for their semi-final showdown next Wednesday.

The last-four clash is worth £50,000 to them and comes on top of the £150,000 they have already accumulated.

Participation in the competition brought in £20,000 and each of their three group-stage victories were worth £10,000.

Since then there have been rewards of £20,000, £40,000 and another £40,000 for seeing off Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra and Cambridge United in knockout ties.

If they reach the final and win at Wembley against Wigan Athletic or Sutton United, the club’s coffers will be boosted by a further £100,000. The runners-up receive £50,000.

In addition, they are in line for a TV payment as Wednesday’s match is being televised by Sky Sports.