Date: 22nd July 2008 at 9:16am
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Rotherham United’s new home, Don Valley, might have facilities that most of the fans could only dream of when they were at Millmoor but the pitch isn’t a patch on the one they’ve left behind.

Sitting up high in the stands it doesn’t look bad but the nearer pitch side you got the bobbles became more evident. And, on Saturday, when the players went in for a tackle, sand flew everywhere.

Derby mananger, Paul Jewell who brought his Championship team here on Saturday, said it was ‘a shocker’ and that the conditions ‘were the worst I’ve ever seen in a pre-season game.’ But, Rotherham manager, Mark Robins, hopes that the more his own team get used to it the more advantage it could give them.

Speaking to The Star, Robins said, ‘Aesthetically, it looked great and we hope it could lure others into a false sense of security. I hope we can train on it and get an advantage from it.

‘A hell of a lot of work has already been done on the pitch and it was actually better than it had been but it is something we really have to address. We had sixty tons of sand put on it but that seemed to kill the pitch. We want to improve the drainage and get it levelled. We’ll water it and get it settled down. It’s one of the reasons we are playing five pre-season games at home to get used to it.

‘On Saturday the wind was a problem too – I can’t believe we are talking about the weather and effects of wind in July.

‘It’s given us food for thought but that is where we are going to be playing and we have to get on with it.’

The Millers take on Scunthorpe at Don Valley this evening – kick off 7.30pm.