Millers Manager Paul Warne was left pleased with his side’s efforts as the curtain fell on the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season for Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The match ended 1-1 between Rotherham and Derby County as Tom Ince’s late penalty cancelled out Lee Frecklington’s neat opener.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Warne. “I think the last five games, we’ve been pretty good and picked up some good results. I know the strength in depth Derby have got and we were without Newell, Forde and Ward. The team took a hit straight away with Taylor coming off early. It was difficult because, truth be told, they’re a better team than us. They’re going to have more of the ball than us.
“I thought we looked pretty organised and we limited them to a penalty and a free-kick which I’m pretty proud of. On another day I think Jonno could have slipped Adeyemi in and we would have gone into a two-nil lead.
“I’m pretty proud of the lads at the end of the season and I’ve told them that. I want them to carry that into the summer and start next season like that.
“It opened up more in the second half. The Championship’s like that, it starts a bit cagey and it’s like a game of chess. I’m just happy to come away where we haven’t lost at home. The fans stayed to clap the team which is decent considering where we finished in the league and, if nothing else, they appreciated the lads’ efforts.”
The majority of the crowd stayed behind after the game to show their appreciation to the team, which was particularly pleasing for Warne.
“They’ve been excellent,” addd Warne of the fans. “It’s easy to support your team when you’re winning every week. Everyone could be a Chelsea fan this year. I’ve said to the lads that as long as you’re having a go, the fans will stay with you – and the lads had a go today. In fact I thought the fans were pretty patient because there were periods where we didn’t have the ball in the first half. We’re going to get that against teams of Derby’s ilk.
“My overall emotion is pride really. We’ve stood up, conceded a goal late on but, apart from the free-kick at the end, I didn’t think they were going to score. There were some really good performances in there. Our midfield three were excellent. Frecks playing out there to get a goal was great for him. I’m pleased with Jonno who was a handful and he’s still not 100% fit.
“I don’t think there was a lack of pride in the shirt beforehand. The lads have given it their all. The season started on a slippery slope. The lads are proud to wear the shirt.
“I’ve done a couple of presentations this week and people were coming up to me and wishing me luck against Derby and saying ‘tell Frecks he’s my favourite player.’ It matters to people at this Club. Even though it was a bit of a dead rubber, end-of-season game, it mattered to the people and the lads put in a performance, physically, to show they cared. The lads will give their all when I’m in charge, definitely.”