New arrivals next week, hope Rotherham United

Paul WarnePaul Warne
Paul Warne
ROTHERHAM United are hoping to kick-start their January recruitment within days of their FA Cup clash against Premier League champions Manchester City this weekend.

The Millers head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when they will be cheered on by a bumper away following of more than 6,000 fans.

Assistant manager Richie Barker is optimistic that new faces could start coming though the door at AESSEAL New York Stadium soon after.

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“We've highlighted a number of targets,” he said. “Because we're playing on Sunday this week, we can get out and about after training on Saturday and take in a few players.

“We'll be checking on a couple of players over the weekend and hopefully by the middle of next week we can maybe get a couple in then.”

Manager Paul Warne is meeting a potential signing tomorrow and another next week.

Rotherham, whose transfer-window priorities are a centre-forward, winger and central midfielder, have recalled striker Jerry Yates from his loan spell at Carlisle United but have no plans to bring back attacker David Ball from Bradford City.

Other clubs have enquired about some of the Millers squad.

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“There has been a bit of interest in our players, predominantly about loans,” Barker said.

“Most people can work out that because it's loans it's predominantly the lads who don't play on a regular basis.

“Clubs realise that some good work has gone on at Rotherham and some of our fringe players are attractive to them.”

One player had a conversation with Warne today about departing on loan as two clubs vie for his services.

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Centre-half Clark Robertson (ankle) and loan right-back Zak Vyner (knee) are expected to win their battles to be fit for the third-round showdown against Pep Guardiola's team. Vyner has been granted permission to play by parent club Bristol City.

There is an outside chance that striker Jamie Proctor will be involved, although his hip issue could take longer to settle down.

Midfielder Richie Towell misses out through suspension while forward Kyle Vassell is close to a return after a groin problem but won't be in contention at the Etihad.

The Millers head to the North West in good spirits after climbing out of the Championship drop zone with last Tuesday's 2-1 home triumph over Preston North End.

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“We want everyone to enjoy the day,” Barker said. “It's a fantastic opportunity for everybody: fans, players, staff, directors and chairman.

“But we can only enjoy it if we do the right things. I'm not saying to you that we're going to win the game, but we want to go there and compete. We'll go there with the right attitude.

“It matters 100 per cent that we're going there out of the bottom three. It will be a far more enjoyable day now. It's a long, hard slog a Championship season but for two or three days now we can forget about that slog.

“The size of the following is unbelievable.

“We're hoping Clark is going to be okay. The physios say he is progressing well and, touch wood, he should be taking some part in training tomorrow (Friday).

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“Zak's responded to treatment and I'd be very surprised if he doesn't take part in training in the next couple of days.

“There has been a bit of an improvement with Vass and I think there's a chance he will be joining back in training next week.”

Central defender Michael Ihiekwe has returned to Rotherham after the end of his loan spell at Accrington Stanley on January 2 and a decision on his future is set to be made in the next week.

He and Yates are cup-tied for Sunday and won't be involved.

A version of this article first appeared in the Advertiser