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POST-MATCH | I was proud of the lads' spirit - Warne

20 February 2021

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Millers Manager Paul Warne assessed his side’s display after a narrow defeat at league leaders Norwich City.

Teemu Pukki scored the only goal of the game in the 17th minute to tighten the Canaries’ grip at the top of the Championship.

“First half, I don’t think we started very well,” said Warne. We didn’t press brave enough. We were fortunate to go in just 1-0 down. I thought we had a goal unfairly scratched off which is disappointing.

“Our performance was a lot more spirited in the second half, but fundamentally, we can’t give away goals like we did first half at places like this and expect to win.

“We freshened it up with subs and I trust all the players. We played a different system. It wasn’t like we were trying to hang on until the 80th minute and then go for it. From the second half starting we were pressing a bit higher, being braver and creating problems. Against teams like Norwich, they’re always going to find a way through you.”

Ben Wiles rattled the crossbar early on in the second half before Matt Crooks was thwarted only by a last-ditch block from Max Aarons as the Millers came close to an equaliser in the second period.

“We were going to the equaliser and they were going for the second goal,” said Warne. “I don’t think Viktor has had to make too many saves but they got in our penalty area more than I would have liked.

“Managers always say the same thing but it’s a really good effort against a really good team. The lads are playing really well and all we can do is try and perform at our best.

“The lads can only give it their all and they did today – against a very good team. We can leave here with our pride intact.

“I don’t like the Wednesday-Saturdays anyway, but the lads’ determination and effort to try and win was evident.

“I was proud of the lads’ spirit and what their players were saying to me about my team when they were walking off.”

Warne discussed the injury to Matt Crooks, who picked up an ankle knock in the aftermath of his near-equaliser.

“He’s damaged his ankle. Hopefully he’ll be okay. With Crooksy and games coming up, it’s an easy substation to make.”

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