Season Preview: Rotherham Utd
The 2012/13 season saw Rotherham back in the third tier of English football for the first time for eight years. But rather than consolidate they continued their upward momentum and propelled themselves to back-to-back promotions to the Championship via the play-off's. They didn't go overboard on transfers bringing in just six players to help with the jump up a division and that clearly had an affect as they went nine games unbeaten at the start of the season putting themselves firmly in the promotion race from the word go, Although their form faltered slightly around October when they went six games without a win, they never had any major blips thanks to an excellent home record where they picked up the majority of their points. They really hit form the final phase of the season and promotion came closer losing only two of their last 15 games. That saw them finish 4th in League One and after overcoming Preston in the semi-final of the play-off's they set up a date with Leyton Orient at Wembley for a place in the Championship. An open games finished 2-2 at Wembley with Rotherham winning the penalty shootout 4-3 to secure a return back to the Championship.
Never dull even if he isn't your cup of tea Steve Evans undoubtedly has a remarkable managerial record. A short playing career spanning the like of Albion Rovers, Ayr Utd and St Johnstone came to a premature end age 24 due to a knee injury. It was then that Evans set his sights on being a manager. After a turbulent time at Boston Utd, Evans went on to prove himself as a manager at Crawley Town taking them from non-league to League One before leaving the club in 2012. Later that year he took the Rotherham Utd job with big plans that have come to fruition earlier than even he could have expected.
In: Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest), Scott Loach (Ipswich Town), Kirk Broadfoot (Blackpool), Jordan Bowery (Aston Villa), Mat Sadler (Crawley Town), Ryan Hall (MK Dons), Richard Wood (Charlton Athletic), Frazer Richardson (Middlesbrough), Febian Brandy (Sheffield Utd), Paul Green (Leeds Utd)
Loans In: John Swift (Chelsea)
Out: Wes Thomas (Birmingham City), Kayode Odejayi (Tranmere Rovers), Scott Shearer (Crewe Alexandra), David Worrall (Southend Utd)
One thing Rotherham have managed to do over the summer so far is bring in a number of players who have a vast amount of Championship experience. That will help but I still feel it will be an uphill struggle for them to stay up. Steve Evans will squeeze everything he can out of the squad but after back-to-back promotions surviving in the Championship may just be a step too far.