NEIL REDFEARN believes the “massive” January transfer window has the potential make or break Rotherham United’s season after labelling his current squad as “simply not good enough”.
The Millers sit second bottom of the Championship and are three points adrift of safety.
Redfearn was incensed by his side’s lacklustre first-half display in losing 2-0 at fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night and is ready to swing the axe come the opening of the window.
“Our squad is not strong,” said the Millers chief, who succeeded Steve Evans at the New York Stadium in November. “It is a weak squad, the league table shows that.
“January is massive. This squad of players is not good enough for this level. It is as simple as that. To me, that is common knowledge.
“We are second bottom of the league and just scraped by last season. We didn’t recruit very well last summer, we let good players go in (Kari) Arnason, (Craig) Morgan, (Ben) Pringle, (Alex) Revell.
“Better players than what we have got. We brought players in that were sub-standard and we are left with this.
“Now, we have to pick up. That may sound harsh and a bit cruel. But those are the facts. This is not going to go away. We have to get in better players who know this level and can compete.
“In football, you are always playing for your shirt. I was lucky enough to play 1,000 games as a footballer. In all divisions, from Premier League to Conference.
“So I appreciate this living is worth fighting for because the alternative is getting up at 7am and going to work at B&Q, working from 9 till 5.30pm and getting paid £5 an hour. Every day of the week.
“This is worth fighting for. And if they don’t want to fight for it then we will get players in who might not have as much ability but they will fight for the shirt.”
Rotherham have taken seven points from 11 games under Redfearn and host promotion-chasing Hull City on Saturday.
The Millers chief hopes to have Leon Best back for the visit of the Tigers after a groin injury kept the striker out of the defeat at Huddersfield.
In his absence, Rotherham were woeful in the opening 45 minutes before improving hugely after the restart.
The lack of a clinical edge in front of goal, however, proved costly as a series of chances to cancel out Mustapha Carayol’s opener were squandered before Ishmael Miller settled matters with Town’s second goal.
Redfearn added: “First half, we were shocking. A yard off the pace and we didn’t get close enough to them. We gave Huddersfield too much room to play.
“There is no excuse for how we started the game. For me to need to go in and rollick them is a condemnation of them as professional footballers. It is criminal.
“I will protect them all day long if they give me absolutely everything and are just short. But I cannot forgive that first half. That was nowhere near good enough.
“We have to recruit in January. We need better players. We are relying on young guys that are trying to find their way in the game.
“Every now and then, they will have a dip. We had too many who weren’t men against Huddersfield. Too many times, when things happened we didn’t have enough men to grab hold of the situation.”
Defender Lewis Buxton admitted the Millers squad are playing for their futures. “Every footballer in every league knows that if they don’t perform then their place is in jeopardy,” said the summer recruit from Sheffield Wednesday.
“That is the same for everyone. We have the capabilities to beat most teams in the league but the table does not lie. At the moment, we have a lot of work to do.”