Steve Evans says his side’s 3-3 draw against Derby County at AESSEAL New York Stadium was a great advert for Rotherham United in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Millers were unfortunate not to take all three points on Tuesday night after a spirited Rams fightback saw them rescue a point in South Yorkshire.
Paul Green opened the scoring against his former employers, before Derby replied instantly courtesy of Tom Ince’s spectacular effort just seconds later.
Ritchie Smallwood then thumped home a free-kick to put the hosts back in front and Matt Derbyshire doubled that advantage with a composed finish to put the Millers 3-1 up.
Steve McClaren’s side then got back into it as Ince stole in at the back post to notch his second of the game, with Darren Bent completing the comeback with a neat finish at the near post.
The Millers boss believed his team’s performance was a statement of intent for any neutral looking in on the result:
“What an advert for Rotherham United being in the Championship,” beamed Evans.
“There are tinges of great disappointment when you’re 3-1 up and you only get a point, but we’ve come across the best team in the division in my opinion.”
Evans highlighted Derby County’s Lee Grant’s late fingertip save as a defining moment in the game, as he prevented Matt Derbyshire from netting a second goal:
“The goalkeeper at 3-1 makes an international class save and if it goes 4-1 then they’re beaten.
“It didn’t go 4-1 and then they laid siege to our goal and there was some sloppy defending by us and the second and third goals could have been averted.”
The Millers were industrious and organised from the outset, with Evans attributing the success to those credentials and the tactics they employed before the game:
“I’m immensely proud of the energy levels. I think we caught them out with the team selection and tactically we got it right. I don’t think they had an idea of what we were going to do until the game started.
“I have to give credit to the likes of Kirk Broadfoot who’s not played a game in three or four months and was outstanding tonight, creating the first goal. He marshalled a top class Premier League striker.
“And also Rob Milsom who gave us 60 or 70 minutes after not being in the picture for four months. Every player gave me everything and I can’t ask for anymore.”
Crystal Palace loanee Jack Hunt had to be withdrawn in the first half following an incident in the Millers’ penalty area, but Evans insists it is too early to diagnose his injury:
“We need to understand what the situation is with Jack Hunt after he twisted his knee."