MILLERS chief Paul Warne bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge in the final third as they slipped to an opening day defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town.
Conor McAleny’s double, with goals either side of the break, proved decisive at the Highbury Stadium, as Warne’s men were left pointless from their trip over the Pennines.
Speaking to the assembled media corps afterwards, Warne acknowledged his side were lacking that killer instinct in the attacking parts of the pitch- after largely dominating possession and territory for the majority of the encounter.
“Our season isn’t judged by the first game,” Warne bemoaned.
“I have just seen we have had the most possession, more attempts on goal and more corners but we just didn’t have the cutting edge. I think it’s a rude awakening for some of the lads, who haven’t played this league for a while, about the intensity of it.”
The Millers started the game in a positive fashion and club skipper Lee Frecklington had a goal chalked off for offside as he diverted Will Vaulks’ shot into the home goal before McAleny put the home side ahead- in a couple of minutes which gave Fleetwood the early impetus.
“The first 20 minutes was absolute mayhem with both sides going hammer and tongue at it,” Warne added.
“I’ve looked the offside goal now and it looks really close. To be fair, my angle is from the analyst on the half way line, so it’s difficult to see. I looked at the linesman straight away, it’s human nature to have a look. He didn’t flag initially but he spoke to the ref and the flag went up. That was disappointing because I thought we started the game well and a goal would have been great for us. They then got their goal which was the first cross in the box for them.”
The Millers were fortunate to go into the break just one down as Jordy Hiwula smashed an effort against the post before Bobby Grant blazed over with half time approaching.
Following the break, the Millers had Fleetwood penned deep for a spell in the second-half without troubling the home goal before McAleny eased home nerves by smashing home a second goal.
After the game, Warne conceded his side failed to make their second-half spell count as Uwe Rosler’s side coasted to a comfortable victory in the end.
“In the second half, for 15/20 minutes, they couldn’t get out of their half, we were pressing really well and crosses were flying across the penalty area, but it just didn’t seem to drop for us, unfortunately.” Warne added.
“A lot of our attacks fizzled out and that’s the worst we’ve played in a little while but there was a big difference between playing friendlies and the real thing. Maybe they are just used to winning games more than us, that’s my overall assessment.
“I’m not knocking the lads effort and I’m not hugely disappointed but we had a good following here so it would have been nice to get the win or a score on the board.”