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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V ROTHERHAM UNITED

18 December 2014

Latics search for first win under Malky Mackay as fellow strugglers Rotherham visit the DW Stadium.

  • Millers won on only three of 11 visits to Wigan.
  • Last meeting in Wigan over a decade ago; Jason Roberts and Alan Mahon giving Latics a 2-0 win.
  • Win for Mackay’s side closes gap on South Yorkshire outfit to one point.
Latics manager Malky Mackay will go in search of his first win at the DW Stadium as fellow Scot Steve Evans brings Rotherham United to Wigan.

The club will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World War 1 Christmas Truce on Saturday with activities and performances throughout the day.

Tickets are still available for the clash with the Millers heading to the DW on a nine-game winless run having scored just once in seven games.

LAST TIME OUT


On the Millers’ last visit to the DW Stadium, over a decade ago, goals from Jason Roberts and Alan Mahon proved the difference as a dominant Latics performance continued their surge towards the top-flight.

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore said he’d never seen his side picked apart so effectively and that only the performance of current Latics goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt stopped the score-line from developing into a cricket score.

Roberts, who is pictured celebrating with Nathan Ellington and Lee McCulloch, opened the scoring on ten minutes after a neat interchange of passes with the Duke opened up space for him to finish.

Pollitt denied Man of the Match Roberts a second goal after the break with a superb stop after the Grenadian beat two Millers defenders.

Mahon made sure of the points just after the hour mark with a composed finish for Paul Jewell’s side who went on to finish second and win promotion to the Premier League.

Rotherham, in contrast, finished bottom of the table, 21 points from safety in a season to forget.

ROTHERHAM’S SEASON SO FAR

The last decade has been a rollercoaster ride for the Millers; two spells of administration, three stadiums and a rise from League Two to the Sky Bet Championship.

In 2007, following relegation to the bottom tier of the Football League; the future looked bleak for a Rotherham side in administration and being forced to leave their home of 100 years, Millmoor.

The Millers began the 2008-09 season at the Don Valley Stadium and overcame a ten-point deficit at the start of the campaign to finish in mid-table in the fourth tier before finishing in the play-offs a season later, losing out in the final to Dagenham & Redbridge.

It would take four years for Rotherham to finally get back on the up as manager Steve Evans led the Millers to promotion via a second place finish in League Two in his first full season in charge, a season that was also Rotherham’s first at their new home, the New York Stadium.

The following campaign could not have gone much better for Evans and his side too, as a fourth place finish in Sky Bet League One and subsequent play-off wins against Preston North End and Leyton Orient, the latter at Wembley, secured a place in the second tier for a first time in ten years.

A busy summer of 2014 saw Evans recruit 13 players on a permanent basis including Paul Green, Kirk Broadfoot, Scott Loach and Matt Derbyshire whilst Luciano Becchio and Anthony Wordsworth joined on loan.

The books were balanced with 12 players heading away from the New York Stadium including Kieran Agard, who scored 26 goals during their League One promotion season, whilst Wes Thomas and Michael O’Connor also left.

A solid start to the season saw the Millers sit 15th in October after defeating local rivals Leeds United but their form since has dragged them into the relegation battle at the bottom of the table.

A run of nine without a win, including three defeats and just one goal in their last seven games, has put added pressure on a side that had shown promise with wins over Blackburn Rovers, Wolves and Millwall in early season.

And it’s been in front of goal where most of the Millers’ woes have stemmed from with Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool the only other teams on the Championship low of 16 league goals.

MAN TO WATCH – ALEX REVELL


Alex Revell is in his fourth season with the Millers after joining from Leyton Orient in 2011.

A Cambridge United youth, Revell made over 50 appearances for the U’s before dropping out of the Football League with Braintree Town, who he scored 39 goals for in 65 games, prompting a move back into the League with Brighton in 2006.

In January 2008, Revell signed for Southend United and then enjoyed loan spells with Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers before joining Orient in 2010.

Revell scored 22 league goals in 44 league games in his sole season at Brisbane Road, prompting the Millers to secure his services.

He has since notched 33 goals in 167 appearances for Rotherham, helping the club rise from the bottom of the Football League to the Sky Bet Championship. 

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