The most important job when Rotherham United tackle the state of the training ground

REMEDIAL work to end the drainage issues that have plagued the pitches at Roundwood is Rotherham United's top priority when the club come to address the problems at their training base at the close of the season.

The injury-hit Millers' Championship survival bid has been hampered by the state of their two playing surfaces and bad weather has often forced them to use facilities elsewhere in their build-up to matches.

A series of improvements, outdoors and indoors, is set to be carried out at the complex, but it's putting a stop to the waterlogging that will dominate the summer agenda.

“We need the pitches to be at a level where we can get on them and get some work in,” boss Leam Richardson told the Advertiser.

The entrance to Rotherham United's Roundwood training base. Picture: Kerrie BeddowsThe entrance to Rotherham United's Roundwood training base. Picture: Kerrie Beddows
The entrance to Rotherham United's Roundwood training base. Picture: Kerrie Beddows

“You always want better facilities. The facilities help in the recruitment of players.

“Is it the pitches that are leading to the injuries? I'm not qualified enough to know that. It certainly won't help.”

Poor drainage has long been a complication at Roundwood and it was a subject raised by previous manager Matt Taylor before he lost his job in November.

It has been made even worse this season by rain and snow and the first-team squad have faced periods without the use of their usual surfaces.

“It’s been a bit frustrating at times,” Richardson, who succeeded Taylor in December, said. “We haven't really been able to get on our training pitches in the last three weeks and we're playing the likes of Southampton and Leeds United. That's a challenge.”

The head coach has made recommendations to chairman Tony Stewart, director of football Rob Scott and chief operating officer Paul Douglas.

“We need really good facilities and infrastructure to be the club we want to be,” he said. “There have been positive conversations and it will progress from there.

“It's important we put things in place to put the foundation - the training ground, the workplace, the pitches et cetera - in a lot better shape. They're the conversations that we're having.

“To be a sustainable organisation you need really strong foundations. I think this club needs to grow with that.

“I've been at several clubs before. I've taken great pride in leaving them in a better place, with a better work ethic, with a better mindset and everybody pulling in the same direction.

“Whenever it is - whether it's a week, two years or six years - I'll also leave this club in a better place than when I came into it. That's my job.”