Loan arrivals can lift Latics

Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 17 March 2015

EXPERIENCED left-back Mat Sadler hopes the presence of loan men in the side can provide a shot in the arm for Athletic’s ailing campaign.

The 30 year old shook off the rust that comes from a season of virtual inactivity against Barnsley to register his 300th start in the league.

Out of favour at Rotherham since signing last summer, Sadler hadn’t kicked a ball in a first-team game since a loan to his former club Crawley ran out in November.

He answered Athletic’s call after a swoop by Dean Holden, who played with him at Shrewsbury, and started against the Tykes with loan Bolton midfielder Luke Woodland.

Sadler’s belief is that Athletic’s run of five defeats in six matches can quickly turn on its head.

“I remember from being in settled teams when you are not on such a great run, loan players coming in can tend to give you a bit of a lift,” said the ex-Birmingham player.

“Hopefully that feeling will continue and with Luke Woodland doing very well in the middle of the park that will give the lads a lift. I have played plenty of games and I get enthused by being inside dressing rooms and preparing for games on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

“There is nothing better than playing. You will never go out on to the pitch and not give everything you have got. Whatever the league table looks like, nobody will be taking their foot off the gas.”

Sadler was brought in due to a dearth of full-back options, brought about by Joseph Mills’s calf injury and the suspension of Brian Wilson.

Eight players are out at the moment — Rhys Murphy being the latest — but Sadler’s approach to the difficulties is positive: “The treatment room is a busy place at the moment and it is so unfortunate.” “But you have to look at the opportunities it gives. There is no point dwelling on the people who aren’t available.”

Having not played in the Championship for Rotherham this season, he admits it will probably be time to move on this summer.

“I don’t see my future there if I am honest, but it was a great opportunity to go there and I am thankful for that chance. But I’m looking forward to really cementing a position at a football club.”