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READ | Jackett calls for defensive improvement

5 November 2016

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Kenny Jackett post Preston North End...

Rotherham United boss Kenny Jackett says his side must improve in the defensive third if they are to lift themselves away from the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Following the defeat to Preston North End at AESSEAL New York Stadium, the Millers’ manager was keen to emphasise that his team must eradicate errors at the back in order to get the results they are looking for.

"The goals against column, staying in the game and making sure we have some type of defensive setup to keep it close - that has been our problem all season. It was a problem today,” Jackett explained.

"The ability to block crosses, to be able get tight to key players was something that we talked about. Key moments got them control of the game, and from there they could flood the midfield and then break.

"I felt that Preston started well and got control of the game with two early goals. They had a clear cut chance before that with Robinson. Then as we put pressure on them, particularly at the start of the second period going towards our own fans, we got a goal back. They had some quality on the break though and that ultimately took the game away from us.

Jackett reserved praise for substitute Peter Odemwingie who provided the ammunition for Richard Wood’s first goal for the club and admits there were positive signs in the latter stages of the game against the Lilywhites.

"He has come on twice now and done very well. He is getting more minutes as he goes, the international break will help him in terms of getting match fitness. He certainly contributed in the second period,” he added.

"It was a change of shape to see if we could get a little tighter to them. I thought that Odemwingie linked with Ward pretty well, they gave us a threat and even Brown in the latter stages gave us a front three that can hopefully be potent for us. There are options in terms of going that way and we have used them in the last three games.

“The goals against column is a tough one to take at the moment and we have to do something about it because it knocks all the confidence out of us when we concede sloppy goals.”

The Millers set up a nervy finale in Rotherham when stand-in skipper Wood notched his first goal for the club, but were pegged back as Marnick Vermijl deal them a late blow.

However, Jackett expressed that he was pleased to see his centre half on the scoresheet, while praising his contribution on Saturday afternoon.

"He has done very well. I am pleased with him again today, he deservedly got his goal and at the other end as well he has a lot of experience and I think we do need to build around him and back him up,” he continued.

"(The third goal) was a deflator for the stadium when we had some momentum going and looked like we could get back into the game."

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