Norwich City loanee ‘Mr Tubby’ put on intensive fitness course at Rotherham
- Credit: Richard Calver/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich loanee Luciano Becchio is being subjected to tough love by Rotherham boss Steve Evans to get him back on the Championship goal trail.
Becchio was ineligible for the Millers' 1-1 weekend draw at his parent club under the terms of the loan deal sealed on deadline day.
The 30-year-old has already scored twice in six appearances for Evans' newly-promoted side after a bit-part role at Carrow Road since his original move from Leeds in January 2013.
Evans admitted Becchio's lack of match action at Norwich had required a fitness crash course since his September loan switch, which will crank up a gear over the international break.
'When we first got him we got Mr Tubby. He looked more like me than a footballer,' said Evans. 'What he has done, Luciano, he has lost about four and a half kilos in the time he joined us and he was told weeks ago that after the Blackburn game from the next day he would be working three sessions every day for the next 10 days and then we'd ease him back down and tune him in for football. Like every player he won't be looking forward to that. What he will be looking forward to is the end result. The prize is he'll be a lot sharper, a lot more mobile for the team and very much the Luciano we all saw at Leeds United.'
Evans (inset) knows he has a proven goalscorer on his hands, despite the Argentine striker failing to make the grade at Carrow Road.
'We knew when we signed him he had not been part of the previous manager's plans here and Neil (Adams) had come in and taken a different route and I can understand why with some of the quality he has bought,' said Evans. 'For us we felt it would take about a month to get him up to speed but then we hope to see the fruits of that, post this two-week international break.
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'What I can say about him is if success is based on a desire to show what a good footballer you are and why both Norwich and Leeds paid a lot of money for him then he is already showing that. Against Blackburn you would have said for 70 minutes he was simply outstanding and that is just from a return of working with him for four weeks.'