Neil Redfearn post Bolton Wanderers....
Rotherham United manager Neil Redfearn was left ruing his side’s missed chances as they fell to a last minute defeat at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
The Millers found themselves behind early on when Jay Spearing struck to put the Trotters ahead but levelled on the stroke of half time as Chris Burke notched his second in as many games.
However, Kaiyne Woolery’s last gasp goal ensured the hosts broke Millers’ hearts and recorded maximum points at the Macron Stadium.
Millers boss Redfearn insisted he was pleased with the work rate and endeavour shown by his team but is keen to ensure they start being more ruthless in front of goal in weeks to come.
“I was really pleased with how they applied themselves today, they gave everything they’d got and you can’t ask for any more than that.”
“If we play like that more often than not then we are going to win. The chance that fell to Andrew Shinnie was a great opportunity and it should have been a goal, but I said to the lads, and I said this after the QPR game, if we play well then I have to tell them,” Redfearn explained.
“We’ve got to be ruthless in front of goal and that helps your lads at the back. If you get yourself a couple in front it just gives you the confidence to defend but while it’s 1-1 and they’re throwing people on you’re always going to be open to concede.”
The Millers boss admitted that his side’s slow start out of the blocks in Lancashire proved costly and believes the nature of the defeat was cruel following an industrious showing.
“We just need to cut the mistakes out at the back. I feel for the back lads. We have to do more in midfield and up front to help them, we have to work harder and we need to close down more.
“The frustration is getting over the line. The first goal after a minute just sets you back and we don’t give ourselves a chance.
“If you’ve too many that start slow you’ll go behind and you’re chasing the game. You want to keep it tight and get your noses in front but they’ve given everything today.”
With 30 games of the Sky Bet Championship season elapsed in the Millers’ calendar, Redfearn insists there is still plenty to play for before the close of the 2015/16 campaign.
“We’ve got 16 games left. We’ve got a tough gig from now right until the end of the season and we were always going to be in this position as regards to where we are. It’s a tough ask and it’s a tough division to stay in,” Redfearn added.
“I have to say, apart from last week’s performance against Charlton, the performances in the last six or seven weeks have been different class and we’ve played well again today.
“If we stay in this division we’ve climbed a mountain because you look at the sides that are in this division and the ones that are competing to get into the Premier League, for Rotherham to be in there is some achievement,”
Andrew Shinnie was handed a full Rotherham United debut at the Macron Stadium and impressed boss Redfearn on his maiden outing in Rotherham colours, while Burke’s second goal in as many games also pleased his manager.
“I thought Shinnie was excellent and on another day he could have had two or three.
“I thought Shinnie and Danny Ward played well as a pair and I thought they linked up and created things. We just needed to stick those chances in when they came along.
“Burke is a good pro and he’s playing well but he’s a little bit short on match fitness and that’s why we have to look at him after an hour. He’s finding his feet and he gives you that bit of quality and he’s always a goal threat.
Luciano Becchio sat out of the action at Bolton having picked up an injury in training in the week but Redfearn is hopeful that he won’t remain sidelined for too long.
“He’s got a slight calf strain that he picked up during the week. He’s done a lot in a short space of time after being out for a while. I think it’s only a superficial one but it ruled him out for today.
“We’re just not having any luck with injuries and it’s just one of those things. We’re finding our feet at this level."