LEON AND NEIL – SIM­PLY THE BEST

Ip­swich lose to bat­tling Millers

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dave Good­er­ham

HIS ap­point­ment might have been un­ex­pected but Neil Warnock is prov­ing there is life in the old dog yet af­ter mas­ter­mind­ing an­other three points for his resur­gent Rother­ham.

The Millers moved out of the Cham­pi­onship’s bot­tom three with a hard-fought, but well-de­served, win over dis­mal Ip­swich Town.

Leon Best, who broke an 18month goal drought with a dra­matic dou­ble at Derby last week, scored his third goal in two matches with a scrappy fin­ish that was in keep­ing with a match low on en­ter­tain­ment.

Not that Warnock cared one jot af­ter see­ing his side claim their fourth win in eight matches and ex­tend an im­pres­sive un­beaten run to five.

He said: “I thought we de­served the win and over­all the lads have done ever so well. We are lim­ited but the Cham­pi­onship is my cup of tea.

“I have come here for 14 matches and I am lov­ing it. I don’t feel un­der any pres­sure and I have asked the lads just to give me their best. As you can see, they are cer­tainly do­ing that."

When asked what his wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence had brought to a strug­gling side, he added: “I have come in and gal­vanised and or­gan­ised them. I have good staff around me and I told the chair­man when we first met that he wouldn’t get any­one bet­ter than me. But I am so grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity.

“The chair­man even lets me win at golf to keep my morale up."

Warnock had ev­ery right to crack some jokes af­ter see­ing his side put in a thor­oughly pro­fes­sional per­for­mance and once again more-than-match a side at the right end of the ta­ble.

Ip­swich were woe­ful, man­ager Mick McCarthy spar­ing no punches in a bru­tal post-match as­sess­ment, in a match that saw very few good chances.

Fred­die Sears and Richard Small­wood swapped, and spurned, half chances be­fore the best mo­ment fell to Rother­ham’s Grant Ward whose low shot was turned wide by Bar­tosz Bialkowski.

Two min­utes be­fore half-time, the vis­i­tors took the lead – from an Ip­swich free-kick.

Jonathan Dou­glas’ pass was way­ward, and a quick break al­lowed Matt Der­byshire to streak clear down the right and his cross was turned in by the un­marked Best.

Ip­swich showed some spirit at the start of the se­cond half, but both Daryl Mur­phy and Jonas Knud­sen failed to truly test Lee Camp with head­ers.

The clos­est they came was deep into in­jury time but sub­sti­tute Ben Pringle missed both the far post and the slid­ing Christophe Berra when well placed.

While the vis­it­ing fans cheered ‘we are stay­ing up’, Ip­swich sup­port­ers re­sponded with ‘what a load of rub­bish’.

Both as­sess­ments were spot on judg­ing from 90 min­utes of largely for­get­table foot­ball.

McCarthy, who ques­tioned whether the re­ac­tion meant Ip­swich fans were grow­ing tired of him, said: “We de­served to get booed off even though I don’t have to lis­ten to it.

“Fans pay good money and they ex­pect to see their team play well and win.

“We haven’t done that so of course we ac­cept the boo­ing.

“It was a poor per­for­mance but I take a big part of the re­spon­si­bil­ity for that.

“I left the team as it was on Tues­day when in hind­sight I should have changed it.

“Maybe they didn’t have the legs or en­ergy.

“But all round the side, and I in­clude my­self, none of us came out of that with any glory.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

YEARS IN THE MAK­ING: Leon Best scores his first goal since 2014

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