Marcus Braddock looks ahead to this weekends Sky Bet League One trip to Rotherham United
This weekend it's Rotherham again and so soon after our last encounter in the Carabao League Cup. We were second best that time, as we have been the three times we've played them. The distance between us in Skybet League One is much narrower than our game in mid-August with Town in 13th place, just a point ahead of the Millers although Rotherham do have a game in hand.
The impact of early points can sometimes be quite pronounced as is the case this weekend, a win for either team will push them further toward the top of the division. a defeat for Town would see Rotherham climb two points ahead of us with a game in hand, a defeat for Rotherham would see us four points ahead, mitigating any potential win in their game in hand.
The last time we beat the Millers in the League was the last time we played them at the New York Stadium, in November 2017. We've not got a bad record away at Rotherham, they've not beaten us at home since 2007 when goals from Ryan Taylor and Derek Holmes beat a team that contained Darren Moss, Kelvin Langmead and Dave Hibbert.
The current Rotherham team has had a varied start to the season, winning 2-1 at Wimbledon on the opening day of the season but only winning twice in League One since then. Two of their three league wins were away but their one home win saw them win 6-1 against crisis club Bolton Wanderers. Their last game was a decent 1-1 draw at Sunderland, their second in League One; their first was on the last day of August and they drew 1-1 at home to Micky Mellon's Tranmere.
The Millers have two current top scorers in League One with Rangers Loanee midfielder, Jake Hastie and our old friend Freddie Ladapo who've both scored three.
Other ex-Shrews include strikers Kyle Vassell, Jamie Proctor and Carlton Morris who was particularly good for us in the 2017/8, scoring six and working his socks off. He looks to have hit the ground running with two goals from five games this season. Vassell found it hard going with no goals from 13 games but a move to Blackpool saw him 22 times in over 60 league games. He played 27 times in Rotherham's Championship season but didn't score, this season he has one goal and it was against us in the Carabao cup. Jamie Proctor only played a couple of games for us but I remember thinking he looked a good signing.
Kyle Vassell is unlikely to feature after a reoccurring hamstring injury stopped him from training this week. Fellow striker Chiedozie Ogbene won't be available because of a similar injury.
Both managers have spoken to the press about the game with Paul Warne pointing out that we will be a different team to the one they played in the League Cup. Despite that, he's targetting a home win to make it seven points from their three games since last Saturday.
Sam Ricketts has said that a win this weekend would be a good statement of intent for the rest of the season.
This weekends referee is Carl Boyeson from East Yorkshire. Carl is a vastly experienced referee who's officiated six games so far this season, handing out 14 yellow cards and no reds.
As Paul Warne has pointed out so eloquently, Town are likely to be a different team to the one which played in August. We've made some important signings since then so hopefully, we'll see a better performance this time. As with last weekend, I'd be happy enough with a draw from this one but I'd really like to see us get three points and put some distance between ourselves and the Millers. It won't be easy, very few games are, but if we can show the defensive solidity of our earlier games and also remain the threat we looked on Tuesday, we can beat anyone.