MILLERS boss Paul Warne was delighted with his side’s display at Goodison Park, after they pushed top-flight Everton all the way, before exiting the Carabao Cup at the second round stage.
In front of a healthy crowd at Goodison Park, the tie was in the balance until Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who netted earlier in the game, added a third goal for the home side, in the dying minutes, after sub Will Vaulks had halved the deficit following Gylfi Sigurdsson’s opener for the home side.
Speaking to the assembled press corps afterwards, Warne was proud of his side’s efforts in Merseyside – with Everton boasting a starting line-up jam packed with internationals.
“We probably did not show our best tonight, but we showed our character. Overall, I’m pretty proud of what the lads have done,” Warne enthused.
“We did not start as confidently as I would like. I thought we showed them a little bit too much respect. At half-time, I asked the lads to be a little more aggressive and be on the front foot and we were always in the game. Everton had a lot more of the ball than us, but I expect that. Our shape was good and we threw the kitchen sink at it near the end but a bit of class from them ended the tie.”
The Millers’ pre-match preparations were dealt a blow when Joe Mattock was ruled out following the warm-up with Semi Ajayi promoted into the starting line-up at the 11th hour, but Warne felt his side acquitted themselves well against top-flight opposition, by remarking that their hard-working display should give them confidence for their impending Championship campaign.
“I was pretty pleased with the lads. They had a right go,” Warne added.
“I said to the lads that if you come here and compete, which they have, then they can take heart when they play teams in the Championship.
“We wanted to be competitive. I made lots of changes but it doesn’t weaken my team. We wanted to give a good account of ourselves and I felt we did that.”