Monthly Archives: January 2018

HEAD2HEAD Preview: Rotherham United vs Bradford City – 23/01/18

Here’s a head to head preview ahead of Rotherham United hosting Bradford City in League One’s Yorkshire derby on Tuesday night.


Both clubs are eyeing promotion this season. The Bantams are four points higher in the table than Rotherham with a tally of 48 points, as they currently reside in 5th place in the league table. The Millers meanwhile are situated just outside the play-offs in 7th place.

Recent Form Guide

Rotherham have stretched their impressive unbeaten run to eight games following their recent 1-0 victory over promotion rivals Portsmouth. Out of these eight games, five have resulted in Paul Warne’s side gaining all three points.

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The visitors on the other have have entered a period of inconsistent form, losing their last two games. They lost at the weekend against Bristol Rovers 3-1. They have now lost three out of their last five games, however the other results were victories for the West Yorkshire club.

In the dugout

Rotherham United – Paul Warne

Bradford City – Stuart McCall

Top Scorers

The hosts’ top scorer was on-loan Striker Kieffer Moore who had become one of the leading scorers with 13 goals to his name. However, he was re-called by his parent club Ipswich and was subsequently sold to Championship side Barnsley. Therefore, Rotherham’s current top scorer is former Fleetwood Town striker David Ball who has a tally of 6 goals.

The visitors’ top scorer is Middlesbrough-born Striker Charlie Wyke. He scored at the weekend in Bradford’s 3-1 loss to the Pirates. The 25 year-old who has more often than not proved to be an aerial threat is reportedly attracting a lot of interest from some Championship clubs, which is a suitable credit to his abilities.

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All-time Record

Bradford wins: 28
Rotherham wins: 36
Draws: 14

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High-scoring striker Kieffer Moore joins Barnsley, but Rotherham fans shouldn’t be too disappointed on missing out

Former on-loan Rotherham United striker Kieffer Moore has joined Championship side Barnsley after being recalled by his parent club Ipswich Town. He snubbed his former employers and various other clubs like Bradford City and Peterborough, to sign with the Tykes.

The fee is reported to be around £750’000.

Barnsley fans have valid reason to gloat about the signing, as the high-towering strikers’ record speaks for itself. The striker scored an impressive tally of 13 goals during his fairly short time at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Moore quickly became somewhat of a hero during his 22 game spell at Rotherham United. Paul Warne’s Millers side based much of their play around the prolific 25 year-old at the start of the season, using Moore more often than not to hold up the ball and battle past defenders.

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Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom highlighted what he was expecting Moore to bring to his struggling Championship side:

“We were after a player of his qualities, who can offer something different and improve the starting 11. His height will trouble defenders and cause problems, but as a player he’s got much more in his locker and will score different types of goals.”

The fact he has also played in South Yorkshire already and knows the area will only benefit him in his new career at Barnsley. Heckingbottom said he expected him to “settle quickly”.

The Torquay-born striker trained with his new team-mates today in cold conditions at Barnsley’s training ground:

Very recently, the player tweeted his thanks to the Millers and further enthused about joining his new club:

It’s fair to say that the deal provoked some disappointment from Rotherham supporters, as despite a reported ‘club-record bid’ attempt in trying to capture the striker’s signature, he instead chose to move 13 miles North to Oakwell.

This disappointment is further understandable given the rapport that the 6ft 5 attacker developed with the Rotherham faithful. Not just with his goals, but with his positive demeanour off the pitch.

This United supporter’s tweet possibly sums up his positive relationship perfectly:

Despite of the striker choosing to join a rival side, Rotherham fans will surely be comforted by the fact that their own striker David Ball has entered a positive period of form. The former Fleetwood Town man had to be very patient in waiting for his first team chance under Warne, as Moore often started up front as a lone striker in the starting eleven. Ball has now scored in Rotherham’s last three fixtures. Most recently it was an 88th minute equaliser against high-flying Blackburn Rovers to earn the Millers a well-deserved point.

With regards to other transfer news relating to Rotherham, it has been sparse so far this January. There have been no new signings as to date, and just one departure. Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell left the club to join fellow League One side Northampton Town on a permanent deal, after making 27 appearances, but failing to secure his spot in the first team this season.

In the Tyke camp, Kieffer Moore was the Tykes’ first signing this season, but there have been no other deals so far.

Barnsley too, have had departures on their own. Harvey Barnes was recalled by his parent club Leicester City. He netted five goals whilst he was with the Reds, including a fantastic strike against rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Another exciting player who returned to his Premier League club from Barnsley, was young Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo.

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Additionally Barnsley sold 21 year-old midfielder Josh Kay to lowly Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee. They also sent midfielder Jared Bird out on loan to Yeovil Town and Cameron McGeehan on loan to Scunthorpe United. Finally, Goalkeeper Jack Walton Joins Northern Premier League Premier Division Stalybridge on loan.

Barnsley’s next fixture, which may well feature their new singing, is a stern test in the Championship at home to top of the league Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Meanwhile Rotherham will make the trip to Oldham Athletic on Saturday, in League One.

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League One: Rotherham United should make the Play-Offs

It seems that the majority of the ‘Paul Warne Out brigade’ have gone into hiding at Rotherham United, for the time being anyway…

This comes after Paul Warne’s Rotherham United side are enjoying a refreshing period of positive form coming into the New Year, re-igniting expectations of a possible promotion push. This followed an inconsistent period of form prior in which sections of the Millers faithful heavily criticised the former fitness coach.

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Recently, the good times for the Millers continued as they equalised in the 88th minute against third placed Blackburn Rovers, in their last fixture which finished 1-1. David Ball prodded the ball in from close range to send the AESSEAL New York Stadium into rapturous scenes, in a game where Rotherham were perhaps unlucky to not take all three points.

This result means that, not only have the Millers proved that they can more than compete against the division’s top sides (again), but it also means that the Yorkshire club have extended their unbeaten run to six games, gaining a healthy tally of 14 points in the process.

I still maintain my opinion that the club will finish in the top six at the end of the season, as I believe that they have all the right conditions for a successful campaign.

To name a few examples: Rotherham have a driven manager who cares deeply for the club and has also proved that he can manage a side sufficiently. This is combined with a talented squad, particularly in terms of the attacking talent at disposal. But, perhaps most importantly of all, the squad now has a clear identity on how they want to play.

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When the Millers were relegated from the Championship, they perhaps lacked this strong sense of identity. This season it is a different story. Warne and his backroom staff deserve credit for how they have created such an identity of how they want to play, with a high-intensity, high-work rate, attacking style of play, impressing the Millers faithful this season.

What’s also an added positive for the club, is that despite Rotherham’s top-scorer Kieffer Moore being recalled by his parent club Ipswich Town (and without speculating on him signing a deal with Rotherham), supporters will be comforted by the fact that striker David Ball has entered a good period of form. The former Fleetwood Town man, who had to be patient in waiting for his first team chance under Warne, has scored in Rotherham’s last three games.

The squad also genuinely seem to want to make amends for last season’s, let’s face it, disaster. When I spoke to Millers winger Jon Taylor back in November last year, when Rotherham were 7th placed in the table, as they are also now, he believed that with the level of quality in the squad that they should have been higher up in the standings.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Rotherham. It does appear that on occasions, Warne’s side doesn’t always appear to have a potent back-up plan when things aren’t quite going their way.

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Moreover, after regularly watching Rotherham this season, the amount of chances that are being created, but are subsequently let down with a lacklustre final ball, is frustrating. That and some of the questionable defending at times too, is concerning.

Nevertheless, this season has been a welcome contrast from the misery of the previous campaign. Warne has put together a motivated, talented side, that I’m sure will finish in the top six come the end of the season. In terms of the now Merry Millers gaining promotion though, I’m not so sure….

Watch the video below to see my thoughts at the start of the season:

Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport