Rotherham United's priority target in transfer window as Jamie McCart recall decision is revealed

ROTHERHAM United boss Leam Richardson has made a new centre-half a priority target in the transfer window as he seeks to reinforce his squad for the push for Championship survival.

The head coach has been at the helm for less than a month and January offers him his first opportunity to bring in fresh recruits.

His thinking has been influenced by the fact that the Millers have been hit by an injury crisis at the heart of their backline and can't recall central defender Jamie McCart from his loan spell at League One Barnsley.

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He revealed that the terms of the deal with their South Yorkshire neighbours prevent the Championship club from bringing back the Scot without the Reds' consent.

Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim Brailsford

“The decision was made before I came here,” he said. “There's a contractual agreement that both parties have to agree to a recall. Barnsley want to keep him so he will stay at Barnsley for the season.

“It is what it is. You can only control what you can control and I can't control that. Once the decision is taken out of your hands, so to speak, you quickly move on and be positive in a way in which you can affect things.”

The bottom-placed Millers have four centre-backs in the treatment room in Cameron Humphreys, Tyler Blackett, Grant Hall and Daniel Ayala and have been using midfield man Hakeem Odoffin and full-back Seb Revan as cover.

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Richardson wants to improve all parts of his team but there will be a particular emphasis on that position when it comes to recruitment.

“It goes without saying, doesn't it?” he said. “We have a left-back and a midfielder playing at centre-half. We need competition for places and that is one area where we will look to strengthen.”

Richardson has already added to his numbers in the window by earlier this week calling back right-back Peter Kioso from his loan at third-tier Peterborough United.

Describing it as a “fresh start” for the player who was out of favour under previous manager Matt Taylor, he said: “I've followed Peter's career for some time and have competed against him.

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“He has qualities as a professional and as a person. He's an individual who will enhance our group.”

The boss kept Kioso informed while talks were going on between Rotherham and Posh who had been desperate to keep the 24-year-old for the rest of their promotion bid. “I had many conversations with him,” he said.

Richardson chose not to reveal whether he has been allocated money to spend on fees by chairman Tony Stewart.

“That will stay private between the owner and myself,” he said.