Alan Knill's Half Century
Rotherham United's game against Bristol City at Millmoor sees Manager Alan Knill rack up two Landmarks.
Saturday 9th December is the first anniversary of Knill's appointment following the sacking of previous boss Mick Harford.
It also sees Alan reaching the 50 game mark in charge.
It was immediately after the home defeat to Yeovil last year that the fan's learnt who was taking over the reins at Millmoor, and his first job was to try and end a 13 game run without a league win.
He succeeded at the first attempt by taking all 3 points at Bradford City in a 2-1 victory.
The Millers climbed from 22nd to 19th with that win, and the fans started to see light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
However after gaining just 1 win in the next 10 games, Rotherham were flung back deep into the relegation mire.
Knill was just finding his managerial feet, but he had to mature to the role quickly before it was too late.
Worse was to follow when in late February, not only was the Millers League one future in doubt, but the very existence of the club itself was put at dire risk.
Rotherham were on the financial brink and just hours after the shattering news we made the long journey to Southend, and the uncertainty and the worries amongst all the fans was plain to see.
This was to be Alan Knill biggest test of his short tenure to date.
He had the unenviable job of motavating a squad of players, equally unsure about their own futures and concentrate on the first matter of staying in League one.
This he did, and with the help of loan signings on top of the fans getting behind them more than ever before, The Millers embarked on a run of 6 wins and 2 draws from the next 11 games.
The highlights of this run was the form shown by loan signing Stephen Quinn and the performance of the season away at 5th placed Swansea City.
The longest season in Rotherham United's history came down to the last game.
It was a classic 'us or them' scenario as Rotherham needed just a point to relegate opponents MK Dons, and this we did with a goalles draw in front of a near capacity Millmoor Ground full of joyous Millers.
Alan Knill's heroes had passed the first test with flying colours, but the second test was hard hitting.
The Administration bombshell not only meant we would be starting season 2006-7 on minus 10 points, but it cost us some of our highest earning players, who had to leave to cut costs.
Alan Knill had a ravaged squad and no money to bargain with for replacements, but he managed to bring in 9 new faces on low wages and then faced the task of moulding them around the remaining players into a fighting force good enough to stay up despite giving the other sides a 10 point start.
After a shaky start Knill's new boys knocked the first points off the deficit with wins against Blackpool and Scunthorpe.
A mixed month followed as September brought 2 wins and 3 defeats, but the significant result was the home win over Ronnie Moore's Tranmere which knocked off the minus 10 and we were starting to actually put points on the board.
It was now catch up time.
Then came Alan Knill's crowning glory so far, a maximum points haul during October, culminating in Knill recieving a well deserved Manager of the Month award.
A hard fought victory away at Port Vale was followed by an Home win over fellow strugglers Brentford,which took Rotherham off the foot of the table for the first time this season.
An excellent victory at Bournemouth came just before the performance of the season so far, as bogey team Crewe were crushed at Millmoor by 5 goals to 1.
This game saw Alan Knill's team reach another goal.
We climbed out of the relegation zone and fans were talking about the play-offs as a distinct possibility.
November started with a good point gained at high flying Carlisle and Forest were taken to the wire, with a very late equaliser saving the league leaders blushes.
A disappointing defeat at Gillingham ended the Month, but December saw Knill's heroes get back on track with a 3-2 win over Yeovil.
Alan Knill was now getting rave reviews by the press and was rewarded again this week when he won the BBC Yorkshire Manager of the Year award.
His next task will be trying to get Top scorer Will Hoskins to sign a new 2 year contract.
But it's a measure of what the man has achieved so far, to see a young protege such as Hoskins, who was brought through the youth ranks by Knill himself, attracting all the attention that he's getting.
Fans are forgetting all about relegation talk and are looking onwards and upwards, and the person at the centre of all this renewed optimism is Alan Knill.
Alan Knill's Managerial record.
10-12-2005 to 8-12-2006
P 49 W 18 D 13 L 18 GOALS 64-69
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.