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POST MATCH | Defending cost us, says Stubbs

18 October 2016

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Alan Stubbs post Birmingham City...

Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs says poor defending cost his side as they were defeated 4-2 by Birmingham City despite a brave second half display at St. Andrew’s.

The Millers boss reserved praise for his side’s attack after goals from Danny Ward and Jon Taylor gave them hope following the restart but admitted he was disappointed with the defensive showing on Tuesday night.

The visitors looked to have found a way back into the game when pulling it back to 3-2 in the second half after Taylor’s tap in to set up a nervy finish and Stubbs believes the Millers could have taken something from the game.

“I think we’ve got half the team doing what we want them to do and the other half aren’t doing what we want them to do and that’s the disappointing thing,” he explained after the game.

“We’ve contributed significantly in the game tonight and we’ve scored two really good goals.

“We’ve got them on the back foot at 3-2 and we’re ready to make a positive substitution and bring Dexter on and then we commit suicide again and the game is gone from you then.

“It’s disappointing because going forward because I heard Mick McCarthy say the other day ‘the hardest thing in football is to score goals’ but our problem is the other way around. We can score goals but we can’t defend.”

The Millers caused Blues problems in the Midlands with impressive showings from a number of attacking players but Stubbs pointed to individual defensive errors as the downfall of his side.

“I think you can make excuses all you like but at the end of the day all that we’re asking the players to do, is do their own jobs and we’re not asking them to do more than that, it’s not difficult,” he continued.

“A lot of the things we are doing are individual mistakes and tonight I feel sorry for the boys in attack because they deserved to take something from the game. You can’t come away from home and score two goals and take nothing from the game.

“They’re disappointed and rightly so because they did put a lot into the game. Every time Danny Ward gets chances he looks like scoring. Izzy at times was bordering on unplayable and gave them a real problem. Jon Taylor is a real threat going forward and he was good defensively and when attacking and the boys in midfield I thought did well but we’ve been let down by some very poor defending.

Stubbs’ men were dealt an early blow when defender Kelvin Wilson was forced off with injury but the Millers’ boss explained that his side’s defensive woes were particularly hard to take.

“Obviously Kelvin going off disrupted us and we had to change it around but their front two, Donaldson and Jutkiewicz bullied them early doors,” he added.

“I think you can tell from my disappointment that I am tired of talking about us defensively which hurts me even more being a fellow defender. If I could get on there and make them kick the ball and head it I would do and it would be easy for me, but we just need to be more resolute. I think we’ve more than contributed in the game to take something from it and we haven’t."

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