Sammon expecting no favours

THE football fraternity often suggest that some teams have “nothing to play for” at this time of the year.

While it's true that some mid-table sides might subconsciously start winding down and start thinking about packing their beach towels, professional pride also plays a part.

That's why Rotherham United's Conor Sammon claims that all of the remaining opponents, even the likes of Reading and Leeds, will be just as combative.

He puts forward Friday's match at Birmingham as a case in point. Although safe in the Championship for another season, they didn't look like a side playing merely for position.

They wasn't a hint of complacency about the way they went about their business and Sammon knows that Rotherham, striving to snaffle a few more points to achieve Championship safety, will have to fight all the way to get them.

He said: “Arguably, you could say Birmingham were sitting mid-table with nothing to play for but that's not really the case. Players have things to prove and you get no favours.

“We know there's difficult games ahead and it is important we stick together and look to be positive and look to the quality we have within our group.

“We can always be critical of ourselves and we can try and improve in certain areas

“Usually, the harder you work, the luckier you get. That's a true statement and we've got to keep believing in it.”

That resolve will probably be tested even more strongly in the remaining three away matches. Rotherham have managed only three wins from 20 away games so far and those came at Millwall, Wigan and Huddersfield, all of whom have had indifferent seasons.

To land a blow on what many regard as the best team in the league, Middlesbrough, this weekend in their own back yard would turn heads and do wonders for confidence, but the experienced Irish forward Sammon, on loan from Derby County, is under no illusions.

“It's very difficult to play away in this league because there's very little between the teams and most are fighting for certain things,” he added.

 “I've played at Middlesbrough with Derby before and they're flying high this season. It will be tough, even tougher arguably due to the situation they're in.

“For us it's about showing a bit of character and fight and taking it one step at a time.”