Paul Warne post-Birmingham City...
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne spoke to the press following today’s 3-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City.
Warne said the result was ‘tough’ to take after showing promise in the first-half.
“I thought, first half, we were excellent,” said Warne. “We needed that second goal; that was evident. At half-time, life was looking very good. I knew Millwall had lost at Aston Villa. So I said to the lads that you’ve got to ride 15 minutes at the start of the second-half but keep trying to get that second goal.
“Birmingham changed their system and caused us no end of problems. They asked us some questions that we didn’t have answers for. That’s the brutal truth. I can never knock my players’ effort but we just didn’t get on any second balls at all in the second half. The game got stretched and it suited them. We got beaten up and, at the end, I have no complaints that they came away with three points.”
Matt Crooks’ third goal for the Millers saw them lead 1-0 at the break, but the elusive second proved costly as the Blues scored three second-half strikes.
“We weren’t trying to sit on it,” continued Warne. “We were trying to get a second before half-time and we could have been cooking. But their first goal which got them back in the game was a great strike – top corner. Unfortunately this is how this league is. You give good players opportunities and they’ll take them. That was disappointing and we just didn’t have the usual ‘va va voom’ to get ourselves back in it. We didn’t look like we had enough belief, which was disappointing, because the effort was there.
“We didn’t lose the game because of the officials. We lost it because when Birmingham turned up the heat, we didn’t have the answers.
“Second half they caused more problems. Jutkiewicz is probably the best target-man in the league. Him and Adams are always top of the power rankings on a weekly basis. They are a formidable front two and our back four handles them pretty well but they kept asking questions all the time.
“I changed the system a few times to get a foothold in the game, unfortunately it didn’t pay off. I did it for the right reasons – I wanted to win the game.
“I’m disappointed now because it was a great opportunity to win a football game. I’ll be more reflective tomorrow and pick the lads back up. There’s nothing to say we can’t get four or six points from the next two. It might be enough. I’m proud of the fact that, at the start of the season we were everyone’s favourites to go down, and with two games to go we’re still fighting.”