Dual aim for Leam Richardson in Rotherham United run-in

BOSS Leam Richardson faces a balancing act as Rotherham United return from the international break for the eight-game run-in to their Championship campaign.

The bottom-placed Millers are 19 points adrift of safety and know they're doomed to the drop, with relegation possibly coming as soon as the Easter weekend.

Richardson has the task of trying to keep the squad he inherited from Matt Taylor competitive in the final stages of the season while putting plans in place that he hopes will see the club in a healthier state for League One next term.

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“I am very excited and very keen to move things forward as quickly as I can, but I'm also very aware of the moment we're in,” the head coach said.

Rotherham head to Preston North End on Good Friday and then entertain Millwall on Easter Monday as they seek to accumulate the four more points they need to beat the record low in the second tier they set in 2017 when they went down with a tally of 23.

“Can we enjoy this moment we're in? Absolutely not,” Richardson said. “Can we work hard and try hard to be the best version of us? Of course we can.

“Can we think about the future and have an eye on turning the dial while trying to keep the best of what we have at the moment? Of course we can.”

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Meanwhile, chairman Tony Stewart has paid a visit to the Millers' Roundwood complex to survey the playing surfaces there before work begins to improve the poor drainage that has left them unusable when bad weather has hit.

“He's very aware of what's going on at the club; at the training ground, at the stadium,” Richardson said. “He's promised me there's money set aside to improve the pitches.

“When you have the challenge of games against the likes of Leeds United, Southampton, Norwich City and Hull City, you need to get out there and prepare the players. The level's too much otherwise.

“You have to get through the work and if you can't do that at the training ground it becomes a real battle.”