Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Millers boss Paul Warne reflected on his side’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City Under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy’s first match of the group stages.
The tie went straight to penalties after the stalemate, as City equalised in stoppage time and went on to collect a bonus point with a 4-2 success on penalties.
“I thought we were pretty good for 92 minutes," said Warne. "The last couple or three minutes I thought we looked a bit ragged and started slashing at clearances and, obviously, they got the goal. And beat us on pens.
“I’m usually disappointed, I don’t know the stats – not that that really matters. I’m a bit disappointed because we’d worked on the team, the lads were excellent. We weren’t used to such an expansive game. The way we set up we asked a lot of our front three. Jerry and Bally worked their socks off.
"We limited them from their back and made them play long which they didn’t really want to do. Then Woody or Bally tidied up, so I was pleased with how we stopped them from playing.”
David Ball netted the opener with a well-taken finish on 64 minutes after being put through by Alex Bray, but the young visitors levelled in stoppage-time.
“We had enough chances to win the game two or three times over,” continued Warne. “It’s just unfortunate we didn’t take them and there’s a sucker-punch right at the death with their only shot on target, I’m not sure. When I saw the size of their goalkeeper if I’m truly honest when it went to penalties I thought ‘wow, he looks a size.’
“I’m disappointed because the lads are in a habit of winning, they didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
“We’d prepared the team as well as we did. We made 10 outfield changes and the lads gave a good account of themselves.
“It’s better than any training session I could put on. I think some of the lads covered more distance than in a normal league game. I thought Dom Ball at the back looked really assured.”
The Millers picked up a point from tonight’s match and will face Chesterfield in the competition next at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Tuesday 3rd October.