Rotherham United manager Paul Warne praised his side’s efforts despite their 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday night, explaining that he felt their performance deserved more in an entertaining encounter at Fratton Park.
The Millers came from behind twice as Freddie Ladapo made it four goals in two games with a brace on the South Coast, but Ben Close’s second half strike cruelly condemned them to defeat despite an impressive team showing.
Speaking after the game, Warne spoke highly of the quality of the match and admitted he was proud when the final whistle blew after his side played the final 20 minutes with 10 men following an injury to Billy Jones, despite being on the wrong end of the result.
“I thought it was a really good game,” he beamed.
“It was a really good game of football and I thought both teams were going for it. I think it could have been 6-6 really.
“We spoke at the hotel about starting the game well but they cut inside and bent one into the top corner, which was an unbelievable goal. We should have really stopped it at source but I thought we were the stronger side first half.
“We should have probably got one or two more goals at the end of the first half and we could have gone in comfortably in the lead.
“Second half, they take the lead, Carlton does really well to win us a penalty and then I felt really comfortable at 2-2.
“They then stick one right in the corner from the edge of the box where my goalkeeper can’t get it and make a double substitution being positive with 25 minutes to go and I honestly believed we were going to get something.
“Billy then pulls his hamstring and we’re down to 10 men and then it is a monumental effort from our lads.
“I presume that is his hamstring and I presume that is two to four weeks which is a real shame, because he’s been a rock.
“They gave me everything and I’ve just said to them there, I’m really proud to be their manager. If they stick together like they did there we’ll have a really enjoyable season.
“They’re gutted because of the efforts they put in but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve and I thought we deserved at least a point.
“It wasn’t a hard decision to keep the same team, they were brilliant at the weekend, but it was just a shame that we didn’t come out with anything from a really good game of football.”