Meet the opposition: Rotherham United

30th October 2018
First team

​​​​​​​As Swansea City get set to face Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday (3pm), we take a closer look at the Millers.

Who are they?

Following a disappointing 2016-17 campaign which saw them relegated to League One, Rotherham were promoted back to the Championship at the first time of asking last season.

An impressive 14-game unbeaten run over the Christmas period helped them to reach the play-offs, where they saw off Scunthorpe in the semi-finals and then beat Shrewsbury 2-1 at Wembley.

Rotherham’s previous stint in the Championship lasted three seasons.

They reached the second tier after nine years away courtesy of back-to-back promotions, from League Two in 2012-13 and then League One 12 months later.

Rotherham have never played at the top level of English football, with their finest hour arguably coming in 1960-61 when, as a Second Division club, they reached the first League Cup final.

 

How’s their form?

Rotherham are without a win in eight games, with their last victory coming against Derby County in September.

The 1-0 triumph over Derby was their third in the league this season, with Ipswich and Millwall also beaten by the same scoreline.

Since getting the better of the Rams, Rotherham have lost away at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham.

But they have also drawn five matches – against Stoke, Bristol City, Bolton, Middlesbrough and, last time out, at Preston.

The Millers have lost just once at the AESSEAL New York Stadium – their home since 2012 – this season, against Hull City in August.

They lie 21st in the Championship table, two points clear of the relegation places.

 

Who’s their boss?

Paul Warne. Warne was placed in caretaker charge at Rotherham following the departure of former Swans boss Kenny Jackett in November 2016, and was named permanent manager two months later.

Warne spent time at Rotherham as a player between 1999 and 2005, making more than 250 appearances for the club before joining Oldham.

Warne, who also plated for Wigan and Yeovil, would soon be reunited with the Millers, re-signing for them in 2009 before hanging up his boots in 2012 and joining the club’s coaching staff.

In his short time as a manager, he has experienced relegation, to League One in 2017, as well as the highs of last season’s promotion.

 

Who are their key men?

Young Slovakian goalkeeper Marek Rodak, who is in his second loan spell at Rotherham from Fulham, has started all their 15 league games so far this season.

In front of him, powerful centre-back Semi Ajayi is another regular alongside former England Under-21 left-back Joe Mattock.

Richard Wood is an experienced option in central defence, although Scot Clark Robertson had partnered Ajayi of late.

Former Falkirk man Will Vaulks has impressed in the middle of the park this season, and is the club’s joint-leading scorer with three goals.

The likes of Ryan Williams, Ryan Manning – who is on loan from QPR – and Kyle Vassell have also featured regularly in midfield.

The much-travelled Michael Smith, a 6ft 3in frontman, usually leads the line, and would seem likely to start this weekend after ending a goal drought which had lasted more than 1,000 minutes at Preston last Saturday.

One-time Swans development player Jamie Proctor is another option in attack.

Last season’s top scorer was Kieffer Moore, who netted 13 goals while on loan from Ipswich in the first half of 2017-18 before making a permanent move to Barnsley last January.