Boss Matt Taylor has called a Rotherham United player meeting for today. Here's why ...

The squad are back at Roundwood for the first time this week.
Matt TaylorMatt Taylor
Matt Taylor

MANAGER Matt Taylor is today holding a meeting with his players that he hopes will set the tone for the rest of Rotherham United's Championship campaign.  

Following a few days off at the start of the international break, the senior group will gather this morning at Roundwood to hear a pep-talk that the boss believes will fire them up to prosper in their second year back in the second tier.

Taylor finally has options at his disposal, after a busy summer of recruitment and with injured men healing, and he's planning to make his point with one simple gesture.

“I'm going to sit in front of the players and show them the squad list,” he said. “If that's not competition enough to spur them on every single day then I don't know what is.”

Because of all the injuries, the side has virtually picked itself in the opening phase of the season which has seen Rotherham work their way into 20th spot.

However, 13 transfer-window deals and the expected return to fitness of up to five other potential first-teamers mean that Taylor will now be able to select his side from a position of strength.

“I don't want there to be a fear factor but I'll tell those who've been starting that there's now people climbing all over them for their position,” he said. “They now have to think about who else they're competing with.

“That will drive the performance levels in training and games. I haven't been able to do that to date.”

Midfielders Hakeem Odoffin (hamstring) and Jamie Lindsay (achilles), centre-half Grant Hall (hamstring), striker Georgie Kelly (knee) and, possibly, right-back Lee Peltier (knee) are set to come back into the reckoning.

The first three are due to train fully, Georgie Kelly isn't far behind and Peltier started running again last week and has an outside chance of making the next fixture: the trip to Huddersfield Town on September 16.

That leaves only winger Shane Ferguson, who has undergone a second hernia operation, still out of the frame.

All of them have been working out at Roundwood this week while their teammates have been resting in the aftermath of last Saturday's superb 2-1 home win over Norwich City.

Taylor has maintained since pre-season that all he cares about is finishing in 21st spot and out of the bottom three but the quality of his team's last two league performances, against the might of Leicester City and the Canaries, might see him revise that aim upwards.

Today's summit is a key part of his mission to instil more self-belief in his men and shed the club of the ‘little Rotherham’ mentality in the Championship that he feels has stopped them realising their potential at this level before his October arrival.

“It's the meeting you want in week two of pre-season,” he said. “I haven't been able to do it because of recruitment reasons and injuries.

“It will be interesting to see how the players react. I'm expecting more from them in terms of them pushing themselves from within.”

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