Rotherham United Manager Paul Warne said he can’t blame the effort from his players after this afternoon’s one-nil defeat away at Wigan.
Telling iFOLLOW it wasn’t an excuse but after the late return from playing Everton on Wednesday night, when Wigan didn’t have a game, and then the unfortunate injury after twenty minutes today of Sean Raggett, Warney said he thought the team looked jaded in the first half and he was glad to get them in at nil-nil at half-time.
Personally, I think he was lucky to get them in at nil-nil at half-time. I don’t like having a moan about my own players and at Thursday’s Fans Forum Warney said ‘don’t moan at the players moan at me’ so my moan is aimed at him and it’s that our defending was shambolic at best. Whether that was because they were disorganised, whether it was chaotic or just plain inefficiency I don’t know. And what makes it worse was that we seem to have set up just to stop the opposition scoring, which is fair enough I suppose away from home, if they can do that but they couldn’t.
I expect playing like that we were hoping to hit Wigan on the break. But all the time our players were being pulled out wide so we seemed to be stretched in every move.
One of my big bug bears is that when we are defending corners, set-pieces why don’t we leave two players back so if we get the ball out the break is on instead of everyone being in the box so when the ball comes out there’s only one place it’s going and that’s straight back. I just think it’s lucky for us that Wigan didn’t look that brilliant today either and that Marek Rodak managed to get to everything they did try except the once.
I don’t think Michael Smith likes playing up front on his own. He’s being pulled and pushed this way and that and can’t do anything about it because there’s nobody to give the ball too. I know I’ve harped on about this but I’d love to see two up front, whether it be Proctor and Smith, Vassell and Smith, Proctor and Vassell, Ball and Smith, Proctor and Ball, Vassell and Ball even bloomin’ Smith and Jones (though, to be fair, probably not Billy Jones!) but I’d really like to see two up front against Derby at home at least to start with.
But it has been a busy month and we have a bit of a break now so let’s hope the players can use that to rewind and get going for a second month in the Championship in a couple of weeks time. After all, we know what this team of players can do – we know because we’ve seen it.