Rotherham boss Steve Evans insists his decision to release defender Ryan Cresswell in the summer was purely down to signing better players.
Cresswell, who will return to the Millers with his new club Southend on Saturday, has branded his exit "a shambles" after Evans said he would build the team around the defender following his appointment in April.
"He is a young man that I think highly of, on and off the pitch," he said. "I let him go because we had the opportunity to work with other players."
After the addition to the squad of Ian Sharps and his pursuit of former Preston defender Craig Morgan, Evans admits Cresswell fell down the pecking order.
"I still say now if it is Ryan Cresswell or Craig Morgan, then for me it is Morgan," he said.
"Any player that goes back to a previous club wants to play well and wants to win, Cressy more so because he is a local lad. I am not going to speak negatively about Ryan Cresswell because I couldn't find it within me to do that.
"He will get a reception on Saturday that he deserves, he is a good guy and we wish him success after Saturday."