MANAGER Paul Warne admits it was hard to break the news to Kieran Sadlier that he had failed to make Rotherham United's squad for a League One fixture for the first time this season.
The attacker missed out on the matchday 18 for yesterday's 0-0 draw at Oxford United, a result that kept the Millers top of League One as they extended their unbeaten record to 16 matches.
"It's not easy telling anyone, but it is what it is - it's part of the job," Warne said after the clash at the Kassam Stadium. "We have got 21 fit players. Three have to miss out and he was one of them.
"I thought: 'Would I put Sads on today? Possibly not.' I have to make tough decisions."
Midfielder Ollie Rathbone came straight back into the side following illness, after impressing in training on Thursday and Friday.
Jamie Lindsay made way for him as Rotherham take no risks with the Scot's return from a torn hamstring.
The plan had always been to rest the former Ross County man once he'd made his first start in eight weeks in the midweek win at Ipswich Town.
"Ollie trained well and I do want him in the team," Warne said. "Jamie, in fairness, wasn't never going to be a consideration as he comes back from a muscle injury to play back-to-back 90 minutes in four days.
"That would have been absolute lunacy. I would have done that only if it had been a play-off final.
"I could have played Hakeem Odoffin but he is a bit more defensive. It just seemed an easy choice to play Ollie."
Sadlier is likely to be given a run-out on Tuesday when the Millers are at home to League Two pace-setters Port Vale in the first knockout phase of the EFL Trophy (kick-off 7pm).