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OPPOSITION FOCUS: ROTHERHAM UNITED

23 June 2015



With Brighton & Hove Albion’s opponents for the 2015/16 Championship season now confirmed, the club’s media team will take a look at the Seagulls’ 23 opponents for the next campaign.
 
The 21st team to feature in our opposition focus series is Rotherham United.

LAST SEASON
 
LEAGUE POSITION: 21st 
 
FA CUP: Third round
 
LEAGUE CUP: Second round
 
TOP GOALSCORER: Matt Derbyshire (10)


2014/15 SEASON REVIEW
 
Rotherham United’s primary objective going into last season was to secure their Championship safety after a ten-year absence from the second tier of English football. Therefore, 2014/15 can be viewed as a success for Steve Evans’s side.
 
The Millers made a relatively comfortable start to life in the division after moving as high as 14th in October, but they slid back down the table after just one win in 10 games prior to Christmas.
 
Rotherham failed to get beyond the first hurdle in the FA Cup after a 5-1 hammering by Bournemouth in the third round, while the Millers suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Premier League Swansea City in the Capital One Cup second round.
 
The South Yorkshire side secured their Championship status for another season with a game to spare following a 2-1 win over Reading at the New York Stadium.
 
But the campaign was not without controversy for the Millers, who were docked three points for fielding an ineligible player, Farrend Rawson, in the 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion after his youth loan from Derby County had expired.

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LAST TIME WE MET:


ROTHERHAM 1
Derbyshire ‘8

ALBION 0

Matt Derbyshire’s eighth-minute strike was enough to give Rotherham United a slender win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the New York Stadium.
 
The result moved the Millers to within two points of Albion towards the foot of the Championship table and subsequently relegated Blackpool to League One.
 
Derbyshire’s tidy close-range finish came in an otherwise uneventful first half, as the Seagulls struggled to test the Rotherham defence.
 
Chris Hughton’s men did improve after the break though and Emiliano Martinez was forced to make a save from Beram Kayal’s shot, while Jordan Bowery almost diverted Leon Best’s cross into his own net.
 
Substitute Danny Ward came close to adding a second goal for the Millers, but his strike cannoned off the post.
 
Rotherham line-up:
Martinez; Hunt, Rawson, Broadfoot, Lafferty; Smallwood, Arnason; Bowery (Ward 78), Green. Pringle; Derbyshire.
 
Subs not used:
Collin (GK), Frecklington, Milsom, Newton, Hammill, Rowe.
 
Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno, Halford, Dunk, Bennett; Stephens, Ince, Kayal; Carayol (Teixeira 81), O'Grady (Best 45), LuaLua (Mackail-Smith 75).

Subs not used: Walton (GK), Hughes, Calderon, Forster-Caskey.


THE MANAGER



Steve Evans started his managerial career at non-league Stamford and subsequently led them to the United Counties League Premier Division title, before moving to Boston United in 1998.
 
Evans led the Pilgrims from the Southern League to the Conference in 2000 and then the Football League in 2002, but his time in Lincolnshire was marred by controversy and he was suspended that year.
 
He returned to manage Boston in 2004, but resigned in 2007 following the club’s relegation back to the Conference.
 
The 52-year-old quickly moved on to Crawley Town that May and led the club to an FA Cup fifth round tie with Manchester United and promotion to the Football League in 2011.
 
Evans left Crawley to become Rotherham manager in April 2012 and won automatic promotion to League One in his first season in charge.
 
Back-to-back promotions were secured following Rotherham’s victory over Leyton Orient in the League One Play-Off Final in 2014 and Evans subsequently kept the South Yorkshire side in the Championship last season.

 
2015/16 AMBITIONS
 
Rotherham will be going into the new season buoyed by the fact that they more than held their own in the Championship and there are plenty of positives to build on at the New York Stadium.

Further strengthening in key areas could see the Millers make a push for the relative safety of mid table.

See Albion v Rotherham United at the Amex plus 22 other opponents from as low as £20.22 per game by purchasing a season ticket for 2015/16.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V SEVILLA

SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST, KICK-OFF 4PM



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