Jonson Clarke-Harris' Rotherham career was nearly over says boss Steve Evans

Jonson Clarke-Harris' Rotherham career was nearly over says boss Steve Evans
By PA Sport Report

26/08/2015 at 21:33Updated

Boss Steve Evans has revealed it was a chat over a digestive biscuit and cup of tea which has saved Jonson Clarke-Harris' Rotherham career.

The 21-year-old striker, who is the club's record buy following a £400,000 move from Oldham last August, has had a difficult time at New York Stadium and spent much of the latter part of last season out on loan.

His Millers future looked even bleaker at the beginning of this term after he was left out of the first three matchday squads by Evans, who also sanctioned a potential loan move to Colchester.

But after going for a meeting with Evans, who was ready to give up on Clarke-Harris, 10 days ago, the striker's fortunes have turned around.

He has featured in the last three games producing an impressive cameo against Preston last week, before notching his first Millers goal since Boxing Day at QPR on Saturday and being a menace throughout Tuesday's Capital One Cup defeat to Norwich on Tuesday.

The former Oldham man is finally beginning to live up to the potential that saw Evans pay £400,000 last August and it came with the axe hanging over his head.

"He has been great again, he was tired as you would expect for a young man who has played 90 minutes at the weekend," Evans said of his display against Norwich.

"I like Jonson Clarke-Harris as a player but I have just reminded him that if he drops it he's out.

"But playing like that he is a top player in the Championship, but he has to come in and work hard and be committed and he knows that now.

"We're covering old ground here, since we had a chat 10 days ago where he came in the office and had a cup of tea and a digestive.

"He made it clear that we were going to see a Jonson Clarke-Harris that wanted to earn the right to be here because he was on his way out."

Meanwhile, Evans has insisted there is no issue between him and goalkeeper Adam Collin.

Collin made his first appearance since March against the Canaries on Tuesday after Evans took under-fire Kelle Roos out of the side.

The 30-year-old put in an assured performance just a week after Evans said he was not performing well enough in training to warrant a call-up, despite an error-strewn start to Roos' Millers career.

"I thought Adam did well, he distribution was good, his handling was impeccable and he made two or three blocks," the boss said.

"We were pleased for the big man. People think that because he is out of the team we don't love to the boy to bits, he's a big reason why we are in the Championship.

"But you have to play like a Championship player if you want to play for Rotherham."