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POST-MATCH | We didn't win enough one-v-one battles - Warne

19 October 2019

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne reflected on his side’s performance after today’s defeat against Oxford United.

The Millers boss pointed to Oxford's quality across the pitch as his side slipped to a 2-1 defeat at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

“We didn’t win enough one-v-one battles, that’s probably the nicest way of putting it,” said Warne.

“The standout player wasn’t on my team today; he [Fosu] caused us all sorts of problems. Every time he won it back, he got them up the pitch. We just probably didn’t have a similar starlet, really.

“With 25 minutes to go, we’re 2-1 down at home and throwing the kitchen sink. It opens it up for the counter-attack, so I’m grateful to my goalkeeper for keeping the score-line decent. I just didn’t think we finished with enough balls into the box and getting into good positions to cross it but breaking down.

“I didn’t think we were strong enough on attacking set-pieces, either. Obviously, goals change games and they were on top and deserved their goal. It’s disappointing someone so small has scored a header against us. Overall I think they were better than us, that’s the honest answer.”

Tariqe Fosu opened the scoring for The U’s, before being pegged back by Michael Ihiekwe’s brave header. But the winning goal came early on in the second-half, as Matty Taylor nodded home what proved to the decisive goal.

“Our final ball in today wasn’t good enough,” warne continued. “I’ll watch it back and come to conclusions, but it just fizzled out today. On another day, it might drop and then you might get a goal. We didn’t make their goalkeeper work hard enough, second-half.

“I thought Matt Olosunde was our standout player. Smudge won a lot but we didn’t give him enough to allow him to score the goal his play deserved.

“We changed the wide-men and thought that would make it work. Sometimes subs work, sometimes they don’t and, unfortunately, it didn’t have the impact that I wanted.

“I’m a positive sort of guy, I don’t want to lose home games or any games, but they didn’t come to sit behind the ball and time-waste – both teams were trying to win and, if you were a neutral, you probably thoroughly enjoyed it. But if we’re going to have a successful season, home games are essential.

“At half-time today, I felt we’d go on and win it, the fact we haven’t is disappointing. We’re still three or four points off the play-offs. We’re not depressed about it but we’re disappointed.”


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