Paul Warne post Preston North End...
ROTHERHAM United boss Paul Warne was quick to hail his side’s efforts as they earned their second away point of the season following a tireless display at Preston North End, in their last away game of the season.
Richie Smallwood’s wonder-strike gave the Millers the early initiative and Tom Adeyemi came within a whisker of adding a second, just minutes later.
However, Millers hopes of victory were dented when Stevie May curled an effort into the top-corner of the goal.
In a topsy-turvy second half, Adeyemi’s low effort stung the palms of Chris Maxwell before sub Simon Makienok was twice denied late on as Semi Ajayi hacked clear from his own line before he won an aerial duel with Richard O’Donnell to loop a header onto the crossbar.
Speaking to the assembled media afterwards, Warne was quick to praise his side’s hardworking display at Deepdale.
“I’m a proud manager tonight,” Warne enthused.
“The lads can take confidence from the performance and everyone involved with Rotherham United should be proud of their team tonight.
“The players stuck to our game plan really well. At the end, the lads fatigued which forced a few changes and they put the giant on (Makienok) and kept hitting diagonals to him but back to front, we were great and we defended resolutely.”
Following a strong start by the visitors, Warne believed his side were worthy of the early lead given to them thanks to Smallwood’s first Millers goal of the season.
“We went on top thanks to a great goal from Richie,” Warne added.
“Richie is usually the sitting midfielder. He doesn’t get too many opportunities but he is good on dead balls. He does not get into the goalscoring opportunities like Tom Adeyemi, for instance. He does a lot of the ugly stuff, so it’s good for him to get the goal.”
The Millers supremo also reserved praise for the likes of ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell, who stood up tall to withstand a late barrage from the hosts and Lee Frecklington, who made a welcome return from injury in Lancashire.
“Our captain (Frecklington) wanted to play and he was excellent. I thought Clarke-Harris was a threat up top while Adeyemi always gives us a chance of a goal. I also think Richard O’Donnell has really grown into the shirt. He was brave and came out for things and the back four have got confidence into him- you could see that near the end.
“We were tight all around the pitch. I’m proud of what the lads put in and there are great shoots for us going into the summer and next season."