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POST-MATCH | A crucial three points - Warne

2 March 2019

Paul Warne post-Blackburn Rovers...

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne reflected on a five-goal thriller at the AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon, with his side picking up a crucial three points.

Warne’s Millers triumphed 3-2 over Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers, thanks to a Semi Ajayi double and Ryan Williams’ first goal since last January.

After admitting the game was ‘draining’, Warne told the press, “We’ve played a lot better in recent weeks. We’re unbeaten in six now which is really pleasing. We’ve played better in the other five than we have today. We weren’t at our free-flowing best, I don’t think. After we scored, Blackburn were the better team and it felt really tense in the stadium.

“When they scored we came out a bit more and we had to change it. We made the subs pretty early on today but just to come off with a win is a right boost. When it went to 3-2 I was over the moon when the referee blew his whistle.

“I’m not saying we were the better team today, but in recent weeks we have been and we haven’t got our just rewards really. Today, to come away with three points was absolutely crucial.”

The Rotherham boss made two changes which had a dramatic impact on the second-half, with Ryan Williams being followed by Ben Wiles as substitutes, and it was the Australian who netted the Millers’ second.

“The way Blackburn played, they stretched the play really well and they’ve got unbelievable pace out wide, which caused problems,” continued Warne. “They kept getting the ball in the pockets and that caused us problems. We became deeper and didn’t get up to support Smudge in any way. I felt it was inevitable that they were going to score sooner or later, which isn’t a great thing for a manager to say! We needed to get more legs on the pitch, more pace and get us higher up the pitch.

“During the second-half, I felt there was a bit of a lull. I asked the fans to get behind the team and they do. Straight away, the lads played better and we were more positive. That’s the way it has to be here. The lads are performing to an unbelievable level and I hope Rotherham fans are pleased to watch their team play. If ever there was a team that needs the support of the fans, this is it.”

For his third goal in two games, Semi Ajayi popped up with another header to give Warne’s side breathing space. A late penalty from Charlie Mulgrew was too little, too late.

“The way the game ended, you can’t say you don’t get value for money at this place,” added Warne.

“We’ve had more chances in other games and maybe only took one. Today, we didn’t have many, but we took them. Semi to score two headers has put a smile on my face. I give him no end of stick. He’s got a great leap, his timing’s been a lot better and I’m pleased for him because he’s had a really good season. The overall feeling is that we could play better, but it’s all about results at this time of the season.”


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