Paul Warne post-Reading..
ROTHERHAM United boss Paul Warne was quick to praise the character of his side as they fought back to earn a vital point in their fight for Championship survival, at the expense of rivals Reading.
The Millers looked set to make the long trek from Berkshire empty-handed following Ovie Ejaria’s first-half opener but Semi Ajayi was the Rotherham hero, as he bundled home from close range with ten minutes remaining, to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Both sides had chances to claim victory late on when home striker Nelson Oliveira failed to tap home despite having the goal at his mercy before the travelling Millers contingent came within a coat of paint of celebrating a rare Rotherham victory on the road when sub Joe Newell fizzed a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the target.
Speaking to the assembled media afterwards, Warne admitted that his side’s comeback point could prove critical, in the final reckoning - with Reading hovering just above the Millers, who occupy the last relegation spot, on goal difference, by claiming that the manner of the result could give his side a psychological advantage over the Royals, for the remainder of the season.
“When you look at the league table now, it’s a good point for us,” Warne stressed.
“If we would have lost, it would have given Reading a confidence boost. It would have ruined the little run we are on but the lads will take more from the game than them. They’ll be disappointed that they have thrown away the lead.”
The Millers supremo admitted that his side failed to make the most of a steady start at the Madejski Stadium, by falling behind to Ejaria’s strike, but Warne believes his side were worth, at least a point, following a much-improved second-half display.
“I was really proud of them,” Warne added.
“I thought we started the game really well but at half time, I said to the lads, it doesn’t look like you believe you can score. We did have a bit of the play with corners/throw-ins, but we weren’t getting on the second balls.
“In the second half we had a much better threat. We were the better side for large spells. I think we came against a team, who are a really good footballing side. They have a lot of the ball but we had a good proportion of it today. Our second half performance was excellent. I think we were the team at one stage really going for it.
“They nearly scored at the death, which would have been a hard pill to swallow and it would have been a long journey home. Both sides were pretty happy with a point but there was a part of me when it fell to Joe Newell, from 12 yards out, thinking that it could have been all three.”