PNE aim to take advantage

Rotherham's Joe Newell has been tipped for big things by manager Steve Evans
Rotherham's Joe Newell has been tipped for big things by manager Steve Evans
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It has not been the best of starts to the season for Rotherham, PNE’s opponents on Tuesday evening.

A disappointing opening day of the campaign saw them ship four goals at home to newly-promoted MK Dons.

And that was followed by a second successive league defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.

The two losses mean the Millers, who just avoided relegation last season, find themselves pointless at the bottom of the table alongside Bristol City.

However, Millers boss Steve Evans saw enough in the team’s performance against Forest to believe that they can go on to have a successful season.

He said: “If we play like that in the Championship for the rest of the season we will come away with a lot of points, that is for sure.

“We have come to play a fantastic football club, in Forest, with good, good players and we are really pleased with our performance.

“We will get better as well, as the season goes on.”

Rotherham welcome Preston to the New York Stadium on Tuesday night knowing that the last time they lost to the Lilywhites was more than 10 years ago.

Mind you, the two clubs have only met on four occasions since then – all of the meetings coming during the 2013/14 season.

After two draws during the regulation season – including a 3-3 draw at Deepdale – Rotherham ended PNE’s promotions ambitions in the play-offs.

The 4-2 aggregate win allowed the Millers to go through to the final at Wembley where they defeated Leyton Orient to win promotion.

However, there has been much change in the playing ranks at the New York Stadium since North End’s last visit there.

Only two players who featured against PNE in the second leg were in the starting XI for the match against Forest at the weekend. Lee Frecklington and Richard Smallwood are still very much part of Evans’ first-team plans, and they have been joined at the club by players such as experienced defender Greg Halford and ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Matt Derbyshire.

Young midfielder Joe Newell – a summer signing from Peterborough – has been tipped for a bright future.

Evans has lost influential midfielder Ben Pringle, who moved to Fulham this summer, while spearhead Alex Revell joined Cardiff City in January.

“They have had a big overhaul of players – a big turnover,” Preston manager Simon Grayson said. “But when I looked at the team which played Forest at the weekend, they’ve got some experienced players.

“The back four of Buxton, Halford, Collins and Maddock have all played a lot of games in the Championship.

“We know whatever team they put out, there will be willing workers because that is what Steve demands of his players.”