Wes Harding extends list of out-of-favour Rotherham United players

Wes HardingWes Harding
Wes Harding
WES Harding this weekend became the latest established first-teamer to lose his place in Rotherham United's squad under manager Matt Taylor.

Captain and centre-half Richard Wood, midfielder Jamie Lindsay and wing-back Peter Kioso have all found themselves surplus to requirements in recent matches.

On Saturday, it was Harding's turn to feel the boss's ruthlessness as the 26-year-old failed to make the matchday 18 for the 2-0 home defeat against Coventry City that left the Millers in 21st spot, two places above the Championship relegation spots.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Harding offers cover right across the backline but Taylor, who made seven January signings to boost the club's survival chances, opted for loanees Leo Hjelde and Bailey Wright as his replacement defenders as he packed his bench with offensive players.

"It's similar to what we have spoken about previously (about Wood)," the manager said. "There was only room for two defensive substitutes.

"We want as many attacking options as we possibly can. With the way Hally (centre-half Grant Hall) has been (just back from hamstring issues) we felt it right to keep Bailey on the bench in case of an early issue to Hally."

Hjelde was selected in front of Harding, who has made 32 appearances this term, even though he had completed only one training session after missing two games because of an ankle injury.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Harding, Wood, Lindsay, and Kioso are all fit. The first three watched Saturday's proceedings from the West Stand. Kioso may have done so too but wasn't spotted by The Advertiser.

With Wright unable to feature against parent club Sunderland, Harding could come back into the fold for Tuesday's visit of the play-off-chasing Black Cats.

Meanwhile, all-action midfielder Ollie Rathbone managed a full game against Coventry despite having to come off in midweek at Reading when he suffered a recurrence of the groin discomfort he experienced earlier in the season.

"We keep on putting him out there and he keeps on having to do the majority of our workload," Taylor said. "I hope he has not aggravated his groin in any way. He is all effort."