Training ground issues for Rotherham United in build-up to Hornets clash

Liam Richardson: training ground concerns. Picture by JIM BRAILSFORDLiam Richardson: training ground concerns. Picture by JIM BRAILSFORD
Liam Richardson: training ground concerns. Picture by JIM BRAILSFORD
ROTHERHAM United have suffered more frustrations with their training ground in the run-up to this weekend’s match against Watford.

Roundwood has been unfit for use at times this winter and the first team squad switched to AESSEAL New York Stadium for today’s session.

While it was good to get some work in, first team manager Leam Richardson said the training pitch problems needed to be addressed and that the club’s hierarchy supported the need for action.

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"We’ve played Leeds, Southampton, Hull and now Watford and we’ve been struggling to get on the training pitch,” he said. "That’s a challenge in itself because you know how difficult the games are anyway.

Rotherham United's Sean MorrisonRotherham United's Sean Morrison
Rotherham United's Sean Morrison

“We have adapted and got the most out of what we’ve got but going into the future it’s something we need to turn our attention to.

"Rob Scott, Paul Douglas and myself are on board with it and so is the owner to try and push it forward as much as we can.

"We have to evolve if we want to be a successful football club and make really strong, pro-active decisions and that’s what we’ll do.

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"We are in a privileged position in the pyramid system in the English game and we have to make sure our facilities are up to that as well.”

Stressing the need for changes off the pitch as well as on at Rotherham United, Richardson added: "There’s a lot of off-the-field things that people don’t see in football management that go off regularly at this football club.

"It is probably two years’ worth that we need to change round. The culture needs to be pushed forward and the environment needs to change to grow into a successful one. That’s why I’m here.

"My past has been very good and every time I have left a club it has been in an healthier state with a lot of assets on the football pitch. Fingers crossed Rotherham is no different."

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Richardson reported a few “bumps and bruises” from Tuesday’s loss to Hull City and that the involvement of a few of the players carrying knocks was touch and go.

Experienced defender Sean Morrison is also being closely monitored.

"Sean played a lot over Christmas period coming back from an injury so we’re very conscious, with the age as well, of the turn-around in games,” said Richardson.

"It has been great that he has been an ever present since I’ve been in the building because he’s been a shining line and fingers crossed it stays like that until the end of the season.”

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The Millers head into tomorrow’s home date 14 points from the Championship safety line.

Opponents Watford have fallen away from the play-off frame after a poor run of form and for Rotherham’s it’s chance to snap a run of three straight defeats.

"I never shirk away from any challenge,” added Richardson. “We’ve just played Leicester, Leeds and Southampton who are doing really well at the other end of the division.

"Watford have been a strong Premier League club for a lot of years. They carry strong individual talent around the squad, not just the starting 11, as most Championship clubs do.

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"Collectively we think we can impose ourselves on the game like we did against Hull on Tuesday in large parts and in many other matches since I’ve been here.

"We just need that confidence in the final third to not only go 1-0 up but 2-0 up and then go on and get those victories.”