Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was understandably left devastated following his side’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City, which condemned the Millers to relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.
In a rollercoaster afternoon, the Millers took the lead through Lewis Wing’s stunner inside 10 minutes, only to be pegged back with two minutes left, through Marlon Pack’s strike.
With Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County playing out a 3-3 draw, the Millers would have secured survival had they won in South Wales, but it ended in heartbreak, despite a colossal effort from Warne’s side in South Wales.
“I don’t know what more we could have done. I’m devastated for the lads because I said it could be a memory that they’d have forever. I feel for them, I really do,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I’m really hollow, I just feel for the lads. I feel for my captain, I feel for the owner and I feel for the fans. In my opinion we deserved to win the game and to concede so late on was a huge blow and didn’t allow us to come back into it.
“We had enough chances today to win two games and maybe, that is a microcosm of our season. We are well-organised, we are fit and we’re together but we just lacked that little bit of cutting edge in the final third. If you don’t take your chances, there is always that chance that the opposition are going to score. I don’t think we were cut open with any great play, so It is tough to take.”
Warne reserved special praise for midfielder Lewis Wing, who opened the scoring with a goal of the season contender.
It was a game, that in a way encapsulated the campaign for Rotherham, who squandered a host of chances before eventually being pegged back, but Warne stressed he was still proud of his side’s effort during the campaign.
“It just bounced before it hit the net, it was an absolute screamer, I felt we had much harder chances than that but failed to find the target,” Warne explained.
“I cannot fault the work rate from the lads. We played midweek and Cardiff didn’t, they were bringing international players on.
“The lads gave everything, physically and emotionally they couldn’t have given anymore. I came out of the dressing room really quick because I just wanted to thank them for their efforts.
“The way we’ve played in the Championship this season, I think the fans will be really proud but unfortunately we’ve fallen just short.
“We started the season off with a real ambition and I really believed we’d be able to retain our status and build a little bit more, unfortunately we haven’t done that.
“That is by no means down to any lack of effort from my staff or players, they’ve given it everything.”