ARNASON A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
ROTHERHAM chief Steve Evans hailed the adaptability of Kari Arnason after the Icelander pulled the strings in this win at Huddersfield.
Strikes from Arnason and Conor Sammon secured three points for Evans’ men, who put in an efficient performance against their Yorkshire rivals.
The victory moves the Millers a healthy nine points clear of the Championship relegation zone and to within two points of Town.
And Evans said the impact of Arnason, who was playing out of position in a midfield role, was a driving force behind the success at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“I think it was a thoroughly deserved win.” said Evans. “Kari was very effective here. “He obviously scored the first goal and he had a major say in the second goal. I thought he dominated the middle of the park for large spells, with his strength and his power.
“He was able to win challenges and it was a pleasing performance from him, and a good return to form for a good player. “We got it right here. “We lost two players with a knock in the week so we came here missing a few first-teamers, but I thought the lads were outstanding.
“A couple of lads had to come in to make their debuts and they had to adjust, but they carried out the good work.”
As for Town boss Chris Powell, the defeat completes a miserable week for his side who have shipped nine goals in the last three games.
And he admits his side must perform much better to avoid being dragged into a relegation fight.
“It’s an end to a poor week for us but we were just lacking a performance in everything,” said Powell.
“We’ve had three poor defeats, but here we just weren’t there from minute one.
“Rotherham deserved the win because of their approach and drive.
“We just didn’t perform and it wasn’t great from us.
“But, we have to put it behind us because we’ve got ten games to go and we need to dig deep now.
“It was only in our last game that we were very good against a top-half side in Reading.
“I have to lead from the front now as the manager and we’ve got to perform much better than that from now on.”
Arnason struck the opener just before half-time, but the Millers were well worth their lead after peppering the Town goal throughout the first 45 minutes.
Sammon shot straight at Alex Smithies in United’s first attack before Town responded when James Vaughan planted a header just wide after a teasing centre by Jacob Butterfield.
Both sides were making a habit of giving away possession cheap- ly, with the Town backline the most guilty.
And just before the break United broke the deadlock after constant pressure finally paid off.
Jack Hunt, who came through the ranks at Town, picked up the ball on halfway and galloped forward before whipping in a delightful ball, which Arnason prodded home after Smithies had blocked his initial shot. Huddersfield started the second half much brighter but by the hour mark that confidence had plummeted when Rotherham doubled their advantage.
Arnason started the move that ended with Sammon finishing coolly to send the travelling United supporters into raptures. The second goal completely killed the confidence of the Town defence, who looked edgy and uncomfortable in possession.
Rotherham were reduced to ten men late on when Lee Frecklington saw a second yellow for leaving his foot in after a tackle.
Despite the dismissal, Town couldn’t capitalise on the advantage as the Millers held firm and saw out victory.
SLOTTED: Kari Arnason scores the Millers’ first goal. Inset: Connor Sammon notches Rotherham’s second goal