Date: 15th December 2010 at 4:05pm
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Rotherham United defender, Dale Tonge played his first ninety minutes since March yesterday in the two-nil win over Nottingham Forest in a Reserve game.

Tonge has been out with two separate foot breaks but, according to Reserve coach, Andy Liddell, as an athlete, Tongey is the fittest guy in the squad.

‘Working with Dale is a job,’ Lids told MillersPlayer, ”Dale is a Rolls-Royce. Me and Warney (Paul Warne) can give Dale as much running and as much physical punishment as he can handle and he comes back for more. He does everything you ask him and he does more and his football ability is second to none.

‘The problem we’ve got is that we haven’t got a reserve team game for a few weeks and he needs match practice. So, we need to get some friendlies or practice matches for him.

‘He did excellent today and it’s not a matter of his fitness he just needs a bit of match sharpness. In fact, Dale could probably play in a first team game tomorrow because he’s that fit, it’s just the match practice but reserve team football is different to first team football with the adrenalin is pumping a little bit harder so he probably worked that little bit extra.’

Asked about another player who has been out injured, Grant Darley, Lids said, ‘Grant’s fine now. He got the all clear to join in with full contact last week and so we thought we’d give him half an hour today and he did very well.

‘He’s been out a long time and we’ve been working him hard. He probably thinks I don’t like him because it’s been that hard! But he’s done well. Grant is a good player and he just needs to get his match fitness but there’s that problem again with no reserve games coming up.’

Asked about Paul Downing who is on loan from West Bromwich Albion, and played ninety minutes yesterday, Lids said, ‘It’ll take Paul some time to settle in and get used to the way we play but I thought he did well. I look forward to working with him.’

Talking about centre-half, Jordan Hall, Lids said, ‘Every time Jordan has played in the reserves he’s played really well. He’s a young lad who’s coming through the youth system and every time he’s played for the reserves he’s been one of the best players and he should be very proud of himself. He’s got a chance because he’s one of those who is willing to learn.’

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