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No favouritism for Raynor

It may have been just over two months since they were firing the club to the Championship, but Rotherham's Wembley heroes will not be given any favouritism when it comes to team selection on Saturday, according to assistant boss Paul Raynor.

It may have been just over two months since they were firing the club to the Championship, but Rotherham's Wembley heroes will not be given any favouritism when it comes to team selection on Saturday, according to assistant boss Paul Raynor.

Ten of the 14 players boss Steve Evans used in May's League One play-off final win over Leyton Orient remain at New York Stadium, with the Scot making 12 additions to his squad over the summer.

While many of those remaining players who had such a fine season last year are expected to be in the hunt for a shirt in the Millers' Championship opener at Derby on Saturday, Raynor insists their heroics last season will not be taken into account.

"We pride ourselves on picking a team on merit, it's not about reputation, it's not about who did well last season," he said after the South Yorkshire club finished their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 home defeat to Leicester.

"It's about picking the right team to face Derby County on Saturday. It will be done on fitness, who's sharp and who will fit into the system we want to play.

"It doesn't matter what they've done, it doesn't matter where they have played previously, if they deserve a shirt on Saturday and it fits in with the way we want to play, then that's who will get the shirt.

"It's about making sure what is right for Rotherham United. We expect people to work hard and that has served us very well so far and that won't change, no matter who they are."

One of those players who excelled last season, 26-goal top scorer Kieran Agard, has been the subject of fierce speculation regarding his future, with reports of a move to Bristol City on the horizon after talks of a new contract stalled.

Boss Evans hinted that those talks would resume this week, but Raynor was not prepared to divulge the latest situation.

"We tend to find out more on Twitter and on the radio, so I can't really add much," he said.

"It's down to the chief executive, manager and chairman. We are hearing all sorts of speculation. Let them carry on because we have heard it about Ben Pringle and other players and that's just what happens.

"I certainly hope he stays, he's a good player, but we've got lots of good players."