Paul Warne post Brighton...
The Millers’ Interim Manager Paul Warne addressed the media after his side’s 2-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion this evening.
“I thought the first half - considering the team could put out - I thought we were competitive,” said Warne.
“Brighton had more of the ball, which I’d expect, but I thought we had a couple of good chances. It was crucial we got the first goal. I’d done a lot of work on Brighton and I know they score a lot of goals in the second half. They had a plethora of options for their substitutes.
“I thought we were quite good and competitive. Our shape off the ball was quite good and when we got the ball we tried a few passages of play.”
After a solid start the Millers had several chances to take the lead but both Tom Adeyemi and Jerry Yates were denied by Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale.
“I said to the lads at half time to have a real go and try and get the first goal,” Warne continued.
“Obviously they got the first goal and we were going sideways and backwards in the middle of the park. Their goal was a psychological blow for the team and then, after the second goal, I hate to say it but I thought the team looked dejected and wanted to hear the final whistle, which is disappointing.
“I changed the system as best I could and put two up top, but they’re the two smallest players in the world.”
It took three attempts in quick succession for the visitors to take the lead; a save from Price and goal-line clearance by Belaid were in vain as Anthony Knockaert hammered home four minutes after the restart and Solly March’s long-range effort wrapped the points up for Chris Hughton’s high-flying side.
“I just don’t think the lads had enough confidence to get on the ball in the last 15 minutes,” he added. “That’s disappointing, from my point of view, and frustrating.
“The way we are at the moment, we need to score first; especially against teams like Brighton. When we conceded it did knock them.
“I’m going to make them watch the game tomorrow morning, first thing. We’ll go through it and see what’s gone wrong. No disrespect to Jerry but we do miss our strikers at the Club.
“I have to look at myself but the players have to look at themselves tonight. I stick up for them a lot and always shake their hands – win, lose or draw. But the last 20 minutes they let me down, if I’m honest.
“I know they’re trying to win football matches, but at 1-0 down I don’t think there was enough belief and some were hiding.
“I want to see the lads who want to play and really have a go. I’ve got some players coming back but that’s no excuse. I can’t criticise them for the first half performance but I’m disappointed in the second half.”
Finally, Warne revealed he is hopeful that Danny Ward and Carlton Morris will be fit for the weekend’s trip to Wolves.
“It would be good because Wardy would give us that physical edge,” said Warne. “Every team misses their best players but us more than most.”