Warne: Blame me for drop...

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Jonathan Veal

ROTHERHAM’S rel­e­ga­tion from the Cham­pi­onship was con­firmed by this de­feat and in­terim boss Paul Warne took re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Warne has been in tem­po­rary charge since Kenny Jack­ett left in Novem­ber, just weeks af­ter Alan Stubbs was sacked, and was un­able to change the course of a har­row­ing sea­son which now con­tains 30 de­feats.

Sone Aluko’s goal in the sec­ond half saw to that, and en­hances Ful­ham’s chances of leav­ing the divi­sion at the other end as they moved into the play­off places.

For Rotherham it will be League One next sea­son and Warne might yet get the chance to try to lead them back up, with an an­nounce­ment on the club’s man­age­rial fu­ture due on Wed­nes­day.

But he in­sists re­spon­si­bil­ity for the drop, which was on the cards for most of the cam­paign, is on him.

“There’s a lit­tle bit of em­bar­rass­ment. I took the reins a few months ago and I haven’t been good enough to get the re­sults to keep us up and that is on my head,” Warne said.

“The per­for­mances have been okay at times but we haven’t got strength in depth, and that’s my fault, not any­one else’s.

“I don’t think any­one thought be­fore this game that we would stay up, we weren’t go­ing to win eight on the spin. So to have rel­e­gated next to our name isn’t too much of a shock.

“Other peo­ple have in­her­ited sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions and done bet­ter. I am the one who takes it home and doesn’t sleep. I take that blame.

“In my eyes I have done the best that I could but other peo­ple might dis­agree.”

This was a per­for­mance from Rotherham that has typ­i­fied much of their sea­son, hav­ing com­peted well but not hav­ing the qual­ity to make it count. They could have led af­ter just two min­utes but Danny Ward wasted a free header from just eight yards out be­fore Lee Freck­ling­ton saw a curl­ing ef­fort tipped around the post by David But­ton.

Ful­ham were en­joy­ing over 70 per cent of the ball but had to wait un­til af­ter half-time to do any­thing mean­ing­ful with it as Chris Martin missed a sit­ter when he couldn’t con­nect with a golden op­por­tu­nity in front of goal.

That did not prove too costly though as Aluko’s goal mid­way through the sec­ond half, com­ing af­ter a num­ber of chances were blocked on the line, was enough. The for­mer Hull man was in the right place to tap home from a yard out.

It was far from con­vinc­ing for Ful­ham, but Slav­isa Jokanovic was pleased just to get the job done, hav­ing squan­dered two pre­vi­ous chances to break into the top six.

“It is a great step for us to­wards where we want to be,” Jokanovic said.

“It was a very tough game. I am pleased be­cause I have missed 1-0 wins. So to get the goal and then fin­ish with a clean sheet is pleas­ing and it is im­por­tant news for us.

“We tried to be fo­cused on our job and think­ing about what we can do. We weren’t think­ing about Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, or about other teams. Our fo­cus is on us in this cru­cial part of the com­pe­ti­tion and get­ting as many points as pos­si­ble.”

On the Millers’ rel­e­ga­tion, the Serb added: “Rotherham sup­port­ers can be very proud. They are go­ing into League One but there will be lots of teams who lose points in this sta­dium next sea­son.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion im­ages

JOB DONE: Sone Aluko wheels away in cel­e­bra­tion af­ter scor­ing the goal that con­firmed Rotherham’s rel­e­ga­tion into League One

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