Behind Enemy Lines

Monday 28 December 2015 16:00

Richard Sutcliffe, Chief Football Writer for the Yorkshire Post, discusses Rotherham United’s season so far and gives his take on their trip to Craven Cottage on Tuesday evening.

It’s been a difficult season for Rotherham so far, but have some of their wins given cause for optimism?

Beating a good Hull City side has given everyone a much-needed lift. There was plenty of doom and gloom around after the defeat to Huddersfield just four days earlier. Rotherham were truly awful in the first half at the John Smith's and it was difficult to see how things could change before January and the window opening. Now, though, there is hope.

What’s a realistic target come the end of the season?

Survival is the only target. It was achieved with a game to spare last year but things may go down to the wire this time.

How has Neil Redfearn settled into his role?

It has not been easy and he had plenty of scathing words to say in the wake of that Huddersfield loss. Describing your squad as “not good enough” in the Championship is a risky thing to do but Redfearn was after a response and he got it against Hull.

How does he like his team to play? How do you expect them to line up on Tuesday?

I'd imagine very similar to the 4-5-1 setup against Hull. I was a bit worried for Rotherham when I saw the team in the New York Stadium press room ahead of kick-off as, to me, Danny Ward (pictured) is not the ideal fit as a lone striker. But he did brilliantly and set the tone for a hard-working display by the Millers. Rotherham do, though, need Leon Best fit and available.

Which Rotherham players have particularly stood out for you?

Not too many, I'm afraid. Best and Stephen Kelly came in at Leeds on November 21 for a much-needed 1-0 win and the addition of the duo's experience looked to be the missing ingredient. Kelly, though, has started just twice since then and was injured during the Hull win, while Best has just that one appearance to his name.

Were the fans sad to see Ben Pringle leave in the summer?

Definitely. And more so because he wasn't replaced adequately.

Which Fulham players do you think Rotherham will be wary of?

Ross McCormack is the obvious one. At the Yorkshire Post, I saw a lot of Ross when at Leeds and he is a special player.

Is Craven Cottage a ground you enjoy visiting?

I love visiting. I'm not covering the Rotherham game as Leeds are at home that night so I’ll be reporting from Elland Road. But I'll be enjoying a stroll through Bishop's Park before the Sheffield Wednesday match on January 2.

How do you see the game going?

Rotherham are very up and down so it is difficult to predict anything.

What score prediction are you going for?

2-1 to Fulham.....though, obviously, I hope I'm wrong!