Town face their second pre-season fixture on Tuesday evening, as they entertain Championship outfit Rotherham United, 7pm kick off at The Envirovent Stadium.Buy Tickets
Simon Weaver will be looking to build on the performance against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday and get more valuable minutes into the players legs. He expects to face a tough challenge against Paul Warne's men.
‘‘They are a high energy side and have been on a brilliant run to win promotion from League 1. To compete in the Championship is no mean feat and they will be looking to progress from what they were all about last year. It's another big challenge for the lads, but certainly gives us another marker to go on''.
The game will be a special one for new Town defender Joe Mattock, who faces his old teammates, having been at the Millers for the last seven years, making 225 appearances in all competitions.
Rotherham enjoyed a successful 2021-22 campaign, securing a return to the Championship after finishing as Runners-Up in League One. They were also crowned Papa Johns Trophy winners after defeating Sutton United (AET) at Wembley Stadium.
The Millers suffered a blow during the off season, losing prolific goalscorer Michael Smith and highly rated centre half Michael Ihiekwe to South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday, upon the expiry of their contracts. Influential forward Smith scored 25 goals in all competitions last season and will be a big loss to Warne's squad.
They have however made several new signings including striker Tom Eaves from Hull City, right-wing-back Peter Kioso from Luton Town, striker Conor Washington from Charlton Athletic, left-wing-back Cohen Bramall from Lincoln City, defender Jamie McCart from St Johnstone, and defender Cameron Humphreys from Belgian First Division side Zulte Waregem.
The squad have recently returned from a training camp in Croatia and will be looking to build on their pre-season preparations against the Sulphurites.
Paul Warne was appointed manager on a permanent basis in April 2017, having previously taken interim charge of the first team in November 2016, following the departure of Kenny Jackett. As a player, who began at Wigan Athletic, he enjoyed two spells with Rotherham accumulating just short of 300 appearances over nine years at the club.
After hanging up his boots on his 500 plus game playing career at the end of the 2011-12 season, the 49-year-old served the Millers as fitness coach under the management of Neil Redfearn, Neil Warnock, Alan Stubbs, and Kenny Jackett.
Simon Weaver has no fresh injury concerns and will be looking to utilise his full squad. Town will be without the services of Rory McArdle, Will Smith, and Josh Falkingham who continue their rehabilitation from long term injuries.
By Paul Bolland