Rotherham United’s Assistant Manager Richie Barker will be getting his first taste of Wembley on Sunday when he is in the dugout for the Millers game with Shrewsbury Town.
‘In twenty-five years,’ Richie told iFOLLOW, ‘this is the first time I’ve been involved in a game at Wembley. So I’m looking forward to it.
‘I think if you’d sat everyone down a year ago and said you’ll finish fourth and will get a game at Wembley everyone would have taken that.’
I think Richie Barker is right – this time last year I’d have taken a comfortable mid-table finish. I don’t think many people – apart from maybe Paul Warne and the Chairman – would even have contemplated finishing fourth and ending up down at Wembley for a play-off final.
But Warney, Richie and the other back room staff did a bit of a weeding job, said ‘goodbye’ to people at the club they didn’t think were right for what they were trying to do at the club and brought in young players who could all grow up together and take on board what the management team were telling them.
And not just ‘young’ players, young enthusiastic players. Players who hadn’t yet got into bad habits, players who wanted to wear that windmill badge on their shirts.
I think everyone involved with Rotherham United deserves a day out at Wembley – win, lose or well, win or lose, we have to look back to last year and remember how resigned we were by perhaps, being truthful, February that we’d be in League One this season. Then look at how well we’ve done this season to get to where we are.
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