Rotherham United kept their first clean sheet on Saturday since 23rd October, at Middlesbrough, which was sixteen games ago, when they got a point from a goalless draw away at Millwall.
And, to be honest when we saw the team sheet on our way to The Den a lot of us suggested we turned around and went back to the pub we’d just come from! To be honest, after the first half display we still felt the same!
Millers Manager Paul Warne had changed the starting eleven, or at least the way the starting eleven were playing. Out went wingers Anthony Forde and Jon Taylor who started the game on the bench and in came Michael Ihiekwe, recently recalled from a loan spell with Accrington Stanley, and Matt Crooks, who was making his first team start since joining from Northampton Town earlier in January. Also starting for the first time since recalling him from a loan spell with Carlisle was Jerry Yates.
We started with Joe Mattock and Billy Jones appearing to play as wing-backs which allowed the Millers to start with both Michael Smith and Yates up front (which should have pleased the fans (including me) who have been asking for an attacking two up front practically all season). And club captain Richard Wood was back in the team playing in the middle of a back three.
So, did it work better? Well, let’s just say we didn’t let any goals in!
By the way, I have no idea where Semi Ajayi was actually playing but he seemed to be all over the pitch and although he might have been the one who let Millwall have the ball in the dying seconds of the game, he was also the one who flew up the pitch and did enough to put Lee Gregory off his shot to stop the hosts getting all three points.
For me, and Warney also said the same after the game, Crooks and Ihiekwe were the star players on Saturday both putting in a great effort.
Will we play like this at home against Wigan Athletic on Saturday? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. If so I’d be surprised if Jones and Mattock play as wing-backs and probably Forde and Taylor will take their places? But, what do you think?