RUFC - Robins 'we want to be up there'
Rotherham United were ranked as favourites to win League Two until Notts County found some new wealth and both Manager, Mark Robins and Chairman Tony Stewart think that the tag is deserved.
Speaking to Les Payne of The Star, Robins said, 'We want to be up there with the favourites and we want to go out there and prove we can do it. But, it's a tough league and anyone who thinks who thinks we can just turn up and be automatically near the top is in for a very big surprise.'
Speaking to The Advertiser, Robins said that he doesn't mind the pressure, 'I was brought up at Manchester United where the expectation is always there. Whether it bothers the players remains to be seen.
'Notts County have come in and blown everyone out of the water and you can't compete with what they are doing. It's a tough league where teams don't give you space to play. You need a physical presence to battle away and with chances sometimes at a premium it's about being calm enough to stick them away when they do crop up. I want to play good football - what I don't want is route one football when you just blast balls up to the strikers.
'Teams to look out for are Crewe; Shrewsbury have lost one or two players but have the money to replace them. Rochdale and Bury will be up there. All the relegated sides will be strong. I bet the people who are calling us favourites have never been down to Don Valley to see us play. They just looked at what we started on last season, how we did and have drawn up their own conclusions.
'We have to make sure that we are mentally ready. But, you have to remember there are twenty-four teams in the league and you can't succeed every year. There's been a lot of money spent around the division this summer and I think it will be a good league.'
Tony Stewart said, 'We're better now than we were at this stage last year - we were practically having to bribe players to come to us last summer. Now the bookies are tipping us as favourites and we are making demands on ourselves and rightly so. We want to get out of this league and into the one above and then into the Championship.'