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READ | We have to focus on ourselves – Ihiekwe

5 May 2021

Rotherham United defender Michael Ihiekwe was left frustrated following a goalless draw with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road last night.

The Millers came into the fixture, knowing that victory would see them move out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone at Derby County’s expense, heading into the final day of the 2020/21 season.

Paul Warne’s men had opportunities in an open contest against the Hatters, but failed to break down a stubborn Luton defence and were forced to settle for a point.

Ihiekwe acknowledged that had it been at any other stage of the season, a hard-fought draw against a strong Luton side would have been looked at more positively, but with the Millers needing points on the board to overtake the Rams, the defender couldn’t hide his frustration at the full time whistle.

“It was a frustrating night, a similar feeling to what we’ve had in recent games, especially in the last few weeks,” Ihiekwe explained.

“It was a game we wanted to win for obvious reasons and we could have, if we’d taken our chances. If it was early in the season and we’d come here and gained a point, we’d be thinking it was a good result but at this stage of the season we need points on the board, so it is a frustrating result for us.

“It’s a mixed feeling, we’ve been in the majority of the games we’ve played this season. It is different on the pitch where you know just a goal here and there could see us taking points from games, we’ve lost a lot of matches by a goal this season.

“It is not just the strikers, it is everyone, we all could have chipped in with more goals. I think we at the back could have chipped in with more this season, so it is a collective thing, but who knows, someone could get the goal on Saturday that means everything, so we’ll just have to see.”

A trip to Cardiff City is the final hurdle in a mammoth campaign for the Millers and they know to have any chance of playing Sky Bet Championship football in 2021/22, they have to beat the Bluebirds.

Victory in the Welsh capital will be enough, if Derby County fail to beat Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park, but Ihiekwe has stressed that the team can only focus on themselves.

“It goes down to the last day, we know we need to win now, so there is no grey area. All we can do is look after our own result and hope that the other one goes our way.

“We know going to Cardiff at any stage of the season is going to be a tough game, but we know we need to go there and win, so everyone will be right on it and we’ll do everything we can to get three points.

“If you want to stay in this league, you can’t go under and feel sorry for yourselves. I think for the majority of the season we’ve been in the games and given everything we have, we pride ourselves on not getting outfought, outbattled or outran.

“Mentally, this has been one of the toughest seasons I’ve been involved in. There have been a lot of ups and downs. We’ve had two covid outbreaks and a big backlog of games, it has been a different season and certainly a weird one.

“We have to win (against Cardiff), so that is all we need to think about. We’ve said in the changing rooms that the Luton game is gone and now all we have to focus on is getting three points at Cardiff. If we give everything, who knows what can happen?”


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