View from the Opposition: Alan Stubbs needs time to make true impact at Rotherham

Izzy Brown has impressed during the early stages of his loan spell from Chelsea. Picture: Jon Buckle

Izzy Brown has impressed during the early stages of his loan spell from Chelsea. Picture: Jon Buckle/PA - Credit: PA

Rotherham supporter Richard Sharpe shares his views on what has been going wrong for the Millers so far this season.

Have you been surprised by the Millers' poor start to the season?

On the face of it, the squad looks in better shape on paper this time rather than last year. But with four different managers and coaching staff within a year, it will take time to adjust to the ever demanding Championship. They missed out on a number of targets during the summer which was a big frustration. They could also be in a much better position had they not thrown away 2-0 leads twice at home. Many people had them down as relegation favourites, and there will be a lot of pressure on their home form once again given their troubles on the road since gaining promotion.

Has Alan Stubbs been able to make any positive impact yet?

He's trying to change the dynamic of the team and to play more attractive football. While it has worked on some occasions, it's definitely a work in progress. He's trying to put his stamp on the team but it is a far cry from the styles of recent managers, something both players and fans will take time to adjust to.

Have there been signs of life in the recent narrow defeats to Huddersfield and Newcastle?

The Newcastle game was one of the most positive of the season and we deserved at least a point from that game and were also only edged out by the one goal against early table-toppers Huddersfield. The players seem to rise to playing against better opposition – maybe they will be at their best against Norwich too as they complete a trio of consecutive games against the top three.

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Which part of the team is in need of the most improvement?

The start of the season has been unlucky with injuries to key defender Kirk Broadfoot, influential captain Lee Frecklington and Joe Newell. Once they come back and are firing, we should see more positive results. Danny Ward has already scored five times this season, but the goal-scoring burden will need to be shared around more having failed to strengthen their forward line to the level that many had hoped in the summer.

Have any players impressed, despite results?

Izzy Brown. The Chelsea youngster has been a real bright spark so far, his ability to not only carry the ball, but his intelligence in possession, have really impressed. He's netted twice in eight starts, and been the shining light thus far.

How have former Canaries players Tom Adeyemi and Lee Camp been performing?

Camp was a clear player of the year winner, and has been a real fans' favourite since joining from Nottingham Forest. Adeyemi was something of a surprise signing, given the number of other alternatives in his position when he joined. He has only played a couple of games, and is trying to get match fit.

Do you think Norwich will be promoted this season?

Yes. Norwich seem to be a side too good for the Championship, but can't quite cut it in the Premier League. I'm a big fan of the manager, Alex Neil, and fully expect Norwich and Newcastle to be the two sides to achieve automatic promotion.

And finally, what is your score prediction?

While there was talk of team bonding in the international break for the Millers to revive confidence, I can't see anything but a comfortable home win. The Millers haven't taken the lead away from home this season and have been on the end of some thumpings. Having conceded 16 goals in five away games so far this season, I'll go for a 2-0 home win.

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