Trial chance for winger as Dan Barlaser recommends former Newcastle United pal to Rotherham United

Trial chance for winger as Dan Barlaser recommends former Newcastle United pal to Rotherham United

By Paul Davis | 04/10/2019

Trial chance for winger as Dan Barlaser recommends former Newcastle United pal to Rotherham United
Callum Roberts

ROTHERHAM United are ready to hand former Newcastle United winger Callum Roberts the chance to resurrect his career in the Football League.

The Millers, who are at home to Coventry City in League One on Saturday, have invited the 22-year-old for a trial and expect him to train with them next week.

Roberts is playing for National League North side Blyth Spartans after being released by the Premier League Magpies at the end of last season.

He made one first-team start for the North-East giants and was part of their youth set-up with midfielder Dan Barlaser, who is now on loan at Rotherham and recommended his former teammate to the Millers.

“Dan asked if Callum could come and train with us for us to see what we think,” said boss Paul Warne. “Callum wants to come in and train because he's not training full-time. Dan says he's a good kid.

“If he comes in and he's better than anyone else we've got, we'll see what happens. If he's not, we're just a decent club helping someone out.

“I haven't seen him play. I don't know anything about him. He was going to come in and train with us last week but he was ill. Our coach, Matt Hamshaw, has been speaking to him. He could come in next week.”

Midtable Rotherham have had fitness concerns this week over striker Freddie Ladapo, winger Jake Hastie and right-backs Matt Olosunde and Billy Jones but hope all four will be available for the clash with the fourth-placed Sky-Blues.

Long-term injury absentees wide man Chiedozie Ogbene (hamstring), centre-forward Kyle Vassell (hamstring) and left-back Trevor Clarke (knee) could all be in first-team contention next week.

Vassell and Clarke could possibly make the squad for Tuesday's home EFL Trophy tie against Doncaster Rovers while Ogbene is likely to be held back for the league trip to Blackpool next weekend.

“Chieo's rehab is good,” Warne said. “I have a constant debate with the physios, a daily thing. He could train this week but it's a risk that, understandably, they don't want to take.

“If he was to re-injure his hamstring, he could be out for months. Realistically, he'll train next week. We were hoping he'd be ready for the Donny game but we're not sure.

“Trevor is training with the group and Vass is doing some running with the group. We're hopeful both could play a part on Tuesday.

“Touch wood, by this time next week there should be only Thommo (centre-half Adam Thompson, leg) missing from the squad.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. It's looking really good. My better players are coming back.

“More pace is what we need and Chieo and Vass are our two quickest attackers.

“They are a massive force going forward. We haven't scored in the last couple of games so we need to address that. Those two definitely give us firepower and more options.

“Trev's in really good shape and we're looking forward to seeing how he develops.”

Warne is planning to talk in person to centre-half Michael Ihiekwe and Joe Mattock in a bid to speed up the process of them signing new deals.

“We've put really good offers to them,” the boss said. “Their agents have come back to us. It won't surprise you to know that the agents don't want to take the first offer.

“In the art of negotiation, who does? It's about whether they counter-offer or we do.

“I'm very hopeful of getting it done. I'm having a conversation with Rob Scott (head of recruitment) and Paul Douglas (chief operating officer) on Friday to see what our next step is.

“I just want to get it done and dusted. Life is never that easy. It could take months, it could take weeks, it could take my conversation and ten minutes' time.”

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