MILLERS CAN AT LEAST END ON A HIGH
ROTHERHAM avoided an unwanted place in the history books and boss Paul Warne could not hide his relief after the final whistle.
The Millers, whose relegation to League One was confirmed earlier this month, won their first game since January to move past Doncaster’s Football League record low points of 20 for a 46game season.
Tom Adeyemi’s 79th-minute goal got the job done and was enough to earn a first win in 18 games and take them to 21 points.
Warne said of beating the record: “It’s a monkey off the back. I am in charge of this team, I am the one who took us down, so I want to finish the season on a high.
“To get to 21 points is a relief, I am as happy about the win as I am the clean sheet.
“For us to get over the line, I am happy.”
The Millers have had one eye on the third tier for most of the second half of the season and Warne is confident there is more to come from his group as his side are playing with freedom as the season draws to a close.
“It is nice to win a football match, it is nice to keep a clean sheet,” he added.
“We did not have as much quality as we have shown in the last few games so that just shows what football in this team is all about.
“I am really proud of how they kept a clean sheet and got over the finish line.
“They have got to believe in themselves more because they have more to give.
“As good as they were out there, and they have to be proud, I am excited by the fact they have more to give.”
It could have been a more comfortable afternoon for Warne’s men as they were awarded a seventh-minute penalty, their first of a campaign. Every other Football League club had been awarded a spot-kick before this weekend.
However, perhaps fitting of their year, Danny Ward saw his effort well saved by Dean Gerken while Semi Ajayi and Richard Wood also missed chances.
The decisive moment in the game came with 11 minutes remaining when Adeyemi smashed in from close range to end the Millers’ drought and ensure Ipswich became the only side not to beat them over their two games in the Championship season.
Having made nine changes to their starting line-up, perhaps there was little surprise at the result, but under-fire manager Mick McCarthy stood by his team selection.
“It was a hard decision, but on the other side it wasn’t because I want to give people a chance,” said the Yorkshireman, who saw Dominic Samuel hit the woodwork in the first half.
“They have travelled up and down the country, not had much game time, it was their opportunity, albeit slightly unfairly.
“I wasn’t being disrespectful to Rotherham, I was being respectful to my team. And for the most part, it was even.
“I am annoyed we lost. The second half we were better and we have missed the chances.
“It shouldn't have got to that. I am a bit miffed. We didn’t take our chances and they kept doing us on the break. We have managed to give a goal away.
“If we don’t score and don’t take our chances then don’t get beat, but we did.
“I should congratulate Warney (Rotherham boss Paul Warne).
“I’m pleased for him.”
BRIGHT MOMENT: Tom Adeyemi celebrates his winner for Rotherham