ROTHERHAM UNITED’S high-achieving players may be justifiably basking in the glow of their magnificent League One renaissance – but for one player, the emotions are rather different.
On the periphery since late September, left-back Ben Purrington has been doing it tough and his manager can empathise.
Millers chief Paul Warne, who brought in Purrington for £300,000 from Plymouth in January, 2017, said: “He is obviously hugely disappointed he is not in the team or squad, and rightly so. He probably thinks he should be in the team. If he does not, then he’s in the wrong job, really.
“Ben came out of the team because of a bad injury at Blackburn when we were not having the best of times and Joe (Mattock) came back in and has done well.
“Unfortunately for Ben, it is elite sport, it is not charity. He has to just wait and train hard, so that when his chance does come he performs to his absolute best.
“I know it is personal to Ben because he is not on it, but it is not to do with a dearth in his abilities as a left-back.
I try to make my bench as attacking as I can. I normally have one defender who can play in more than one position.Rotherham United boss, Paul Warne
“Although it looks bad from Ben’s point of view, from my point of view it is not personal. It is all about opinions. At any other League One club, he would be in the 18 comfortably.
“But I try to make my bench as attacking as I can. I normally have one defender who can play in more than one position.
For example, if I put Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) on the bench, he can play centre-half, right-back or left-back. But I think Ben is an out and out left-back.”
The Millers are seeking an eighth successive league win this afternoon and are unbeaten in 14 league matches since December 2.