LET’S JUST REVELL IN BEING IN BIG TIME
ROTHERHAM striker Alex Revell has urged Millers fans to forget results and enjoy mixing it with the big boys.
Last week’s 0-0 draw at home to Nottingham Forest was the Yorkshire outfit’s ninth game without a win, seven of which have yielded no goals.
Steve Evans’ men are now the joint-lowest scorers in the Championship and went into the weekend just a place and three points above the drop zone.
Yet it is just six years since the cash-strapped Millers were bottom of League Two and Revell believes two promotions in two years have raised expectations to unrealistic levels.
“It is a problem at home,” admitted the 31-year-old, who joined Rotherham from Leyton Orient in 2011.“The fans have got a different mentality now. When people are used to winning, they get used to it. They crave wins and success, and so do we.
“But for them, nothing has changed. For us, it’s hard because it’s a totally different league and a totally different level.
“Some of the lads went to the training ground at Derby for a reserve game last week and they couldn’t believe it.The facilities were incredible. That’s the kind of people we’re dealing with. “People might say ‘Brentford have managed’, but I would say look at Wigan. Last year they were in the play-offs and now they’re in the relegation zone. This is a tough league with game after game against big, established sides. It is hard.
“Nobody goes out there to play badly. No-one goes out and doesn’t try. I’d ask them to understand that and be a bit more realistic.
“The fans who’ve been around for a bit longer do remember the bad times at Don Valley, the points deductions and financial problems. The newer ones, maybe not.
“But last week we played Nottingham Forest at home.The last time we did that it was a glamorous pre-season friendly. Now we’re on an equal footing. We’re going to Cardiff, to Fulham.We should be turning up and enjoying every minute of it.”
Rotherham’s struggles have been mirrored by Revell. Having never played in the Championship before, the former Braintree man took 13 games to get off the mark before netting three in three – yet was rarely dropped by Evans.
“You always think you’re good enough to play higher,” said Revell, a 6ft 3ins target man who netted 13 times last season. “But without an opportunity, you just don’t know. And coming from Braintree and then hanging around in League One and Two, you just fear the chance might not come.
“I’m proud to have fought my way up and, to be honest, I think my performances have proved I am good enough.
“That said, the one thing for any centre-forward is getting off the mark and thankfully I’ve scored three now.
“You get caught up in trying to score goals instead of just letting it flow naturally and I think that’s what was happening. But the gaffer pulled me out and I’ve got to admit it did me good. It cleared my head and helped me relax.
“He’s always believed in me. Maybe people outside didn’t see what I was doing for the team, but he always did.”
Of course, Revell knows there’s only one way to repay Evans’ trust – and satisfy those win-thirsty supporters.
“Staying up is everything,” he added. “Even in League One, people looked at Wolves or Norwich and said ‘They are a Championship club’. People are looking at us and not really thinking that – yet.The only way we can change their minds is by staying at this level for a number of years.”
SMART ALEX: Alex Revell has put Rotherham’s meteoric rise into perspective