The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Chris Dunlavy

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

SMART ALEX: Alex Rev­ell has put Rother­ham’s me­te­oric rise into per­spec­tive

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