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Match Reports

POST MATCH | Warney proud of back-to-back home wins

26 December 2016

Paul Warne post Wigan Athletic...

Rotherham United interim manager Paul Warne admitted at times his side played some of their best football of the season after a thrilling 3-2 victory.

The Millers sailed into a two-goal advantage thanks to goals from Aimen Belaid and Richard Wood, before a Dan Burn own goal put the Millers three up at the break.

Wigan rallied in the second half and strikes from Yanic Wildshut and Jordi Gomez made it a tense finish as the Millers held on for Warne's second victory in interim charge.

During a terrific first-half display the Millers could have been further in front when Tom Adeyemi rattled the crossbar from 20 yards, but there were audible gasps of relief from the terraces at the end of the second stanza when Will Grigg's strike was ruled out after a handball in the build up.

After the game acknowledged his side's first-half performance, but wasn't surprised t see Warren Joyce's Latics make a fist of it after the interval.

"I thought we started the game really well and I thought it was the best football that we've played in the first half," Warne said.

"To go in 3-0 didn't really flatter us.

"I knew they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us, and I spoke to the lads briefly and came out and I could see that their team were already on the pitch, so I could well imagine.

"I said to my team at half-time that if I was the manager in the other dressing room, I'd have made myself heard. I knew they would throw the kitchen sink and I thought we withstood it quite well, we didn't have as much of the ball as I'd have liked and the pressure was building and they got a goal.

"Then obviously when they got the second goal I was thinking wow. I was really proud of the lads and they give everything they've got to help us win football matches here. They're a close group and we've got a good environment for them to train in and I was very pleased, you'll be surprised, to hear the final whistle go."

The victory closes the gap on today's visitors to five points, whilst the Millers moved within nine points of fourth bottom Burton Albion.

Whilst elated with his side's overall display and victory, Warne joked that it wouldn't be a Rotherham victory without some 'theatre', as the Millers made it a nervous finish on Boxing Day for a 10,000 strong crowd.

"I've said it in the last home game and I think it's part of the theatre of watching Rotherham play," he added.

"A three or four nil lead to make an easy victory just isn't entertaining enough for our fans and we like a bit of theatre. We like a good crossbar hit and a goal ruled out for handball at the end and things like that. It's a rollercoaster being a Rotherham fan, but it's an exciting rollercoaster at the minute."

The Millers got the ball rolling in the eighth minute with Aimen Belaid's first ever goal for the club, a strike not lost on former front-man Warne who firmly believed his side were good value for their half-time advantage,

"I wasn't a very good striker, so Aimen's finish was a lot better than I could have done," Warne concluded.

"He was over the moon and Peter Odemwingie was going mental on the bench because he said that he was going to score a goal.

"I think the goals merited our good play in the first half and I went in at half time pretty happy. I was aware that the first 15 minutes when we went back out were crucial and being greedy, I thought if we could get another goal it would have been game over. It didn't go that way and it's just an amazing feeling to have back-to-back wins here.

"I don't know if they'll be nervous with us because I know if we were fourth from the bottom, it wouldn't bother us what those below us were doing. I think they might look at the results, but until we get a few, we aren't really putting any pressure on. I'm not trying to put extra pressure on the lads and I just want them to enjoy playing and gets wins."

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