Saturday represents Rotherham's very best chance to rectify your awful record against us in recent times. How are you shaping up?
JV: Well, it wasn’t a great start! The 4-1 defeat against MK Dons last season got a few people reaching for the panic button, not because of who we lost to, but the manner of the defending and also because we came into the season with such optimism. Undoubtedly we are better than that result against the Dons suggests and I agree that we have a great chance of ending that hoodoo.
Danny Collins, Greg Halford and Matt Derbyshire...Derbyshire still threatening to look very decent one minute then godawful the next? Collins doing a lot of talking and pointing but not much defending? Halford still infuriatingly slow and ponderous? How have they slotted in?
JV: Derbyshire’s goals kept us up last season and scoring nine in 20-odd games after Christmas proved that he is a Championship striker. He does seem to need a few chances to score, but we haven’t got anyone else who can do anything like him. Collins looked really good in pre-season - composed, assured and experienced. He didn’t have a great debut, bagged at the wrong end didn’t he, but most are hopeful he will be a solid addition. The jury seems out on Halford more than anyone else, not sure if that’s because he is sporting a top-knot. He’s been made captain, but no one knows where his best position. He’s likely to be at centre-back alongside Collins on Saturday.
Ah, one of life’s great mysteries – what indeed to do with Greg Halford. Stick him up front, perhaps. Some naysayers have Rotherham to go down this year - will we be treated to the sight of Steve Evans jauntily sporting a sombrero come final day?
JV: It’s easy to make Rotherham favourites to go down and you can’t blame them. We were close to the drop last year and the division looks a lot stronger this year. The fact that Bristol City are coming up and offering £6million on a player makes us feel better about any impending struggle that might come our way. BUT, the optimist in any football fan tends to come through and there is potential that Rotherham will have a very comfortable lower-mid-table finish. Contrary to what last week’s result suggests, we have recruited well with plenty of Championship know-how and we know how to play at this level. While there’s not a huge list of teams you look at and think ‘we’ll finish above them’, there’s enough for the sombrero and flip-flops to maybe get another airing in May.
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Give us a reason why Rotherham will win
JV: Because almost a quarter of the team will be chomping at the bit to impress their former club and stick two fingers up to Dougie. Plus, albeit with a slightly uninformed ignorant perception, Forest seem a bit wobbly at the minute, not many signings, poor start to the season, bit of negativity from the fans etc.
That’s not an uninformed perception – that’s a very perceptive perception. Throw us a bone - give us a reason why Forest will win (anything, something…)
JV: Rotherham never beat Forest.
So there you have it - Rotherham never beat Forest so it's a sure fire thing that we'll coast to victory. Maybe.
A huge thank you to Jonathan Veal. Check out www.itsmillerstime.co.uk where there is plenty to digest on this fixture from a Rotherham perspective, especially this: http://www.itsmillerstime.co.uk/2015/08/nottingham-forest-v-rotherham-5-things.html