Paul Warne post-Middlesbrough...
Millers manager Paul Warne reflected on his side’s performance on the final day of the season.
Play-off chasing Middlesbrough triumphed 2-1 at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, with Britt Assombalonga and Jon Obi Mikel on target for the visitors and Michael Smith scoring a late penalty for Rotherham.
“I thought we started the game really well,” said Warne. “The first 20 minutes, I thought we were the better side. We didn’t take our chance, really. We had some good play and Smudge didn’t take his chance, he’s just squaffed his shot.
“It was probably a microcosm of the season; a bit of play up top and Assombalonga – he’s a great player – a little bit of class and I don’t know if it was a pen.
“They went 1-0 up and then we didn’t win the first header and a Champions League winner smashes one in so there’s not too much shame on that.
“Overall, I think it was a good performance against an excellent team and I’ve got no complaints.”
The Millers boss paid tribute to his side for their endeavour which he was pleased to see maintained throughout the entire campaign.
“The spirit from my lads has been amazing,” he continued. “Especially after relegation we could have downed tools and give up because there’s one game left but that wasn’t the case. They’ve trained really well all week and wanted to finish on a high. They’ve given themselves the best opportunity and at the end Vass (Kyle Vassell) hits the post, the ‘keeper makes a good save off Vass and Semi. I don’t think the lads had much more to give and for that I am hugely proud; I think the fans appreciated it.
“The fact that we’ve gone as hard and as long as we could in the game, if we could have nicked a draw I don’t think there could have been any complaints. I’d like to thank the Middlesbrough fans for staying behind and clapping my team on the lap of honour, that’s pretty class.
“I spoke to one of their players after the game and he said ‘I can’t believe you’re going down, you’ve been excellent’ but it’s a tough league.
“Everyone’s been competitive but the league is so tight. Everything matters and, unfortunately we didn’t have enough this season.”
Warne insists his side are definitely not out despite going down and is determined for next season to be a successful one.
“We’ll have a couple of down weeks and then we all start building again,” he added. “We’ll be back in before we know it and we’ll be running around Germany before we know it. The season will come out and, hopefully, we can be a formidable side in League One that fans will enjoy watching.
“I think, on the whole, the fans have enjoyed watching the lads try and go toe-to-toe with some unbelievable teams. “