TALENTED NEIL CAN HELP MILLERS FLOURISH
I WAS amazed to see Steve Evans leave Rotherham, especially after beating a very good Birmingham side 2-0.
I was at St Andrews a few weeks ago and they battered Birmingham.The Blues were taken to pieces from the first minute to the last. Rotherham grafted, played good football – everything you could want from a side.
After such a bad start, it seemed Steve had got everyone to roll their sleeves up and claw their way out. So what happened next came right out of the blue.
Perhaps, though, the opportunity to appoint Neil Redfearn was just too good to pass up. Neil is very highly regarded in coaching circles.
At Leeds, he inherited a really tough situation.The club doesn’t own the training ground, the owner was calling the shots. I even heard that players were being told to clean their own kit to save a few quid.
But he got them up to mid-table and won the fans round. Before that, as head of the academy, he’d brought through a huge amount of talent on a shoestring budget.
Guys like Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor have all become first-team stars after working with Neil in the youth ranks.
That has to be something Rotherham looked at.They aren’t massive spenders.They don’t have a mega-rich backer.To compete in the Championship, they have to grow their own.
Neil knows the game as a player. He’s done his homework as a coach. He’s managed in the Championship.That’s a mouthwatering combination for a chairman who doesn’t want to break the bank and can’t afford a big name. If Neil takes that ethos to Rotherham then he’ll potentially save them a lot of money by bringing players through.
Maybe the chairman has looked at it and thought ‘yes, Steve will keep us up, but Neil could help us grow’.