Rotherham United midfielder Ollie Rathbone insists the Millers will be looking to start 2023 on a high, following the disappointment of Thursday night’s 2-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Whilst the 26-year-old didn’t shy away from the fact that the result was a setback, he was keen to stress that there is an opportunity to put it right coming up imminently, when they travel to the capital to take on Millwall on New Year’s Day.
The former Rochdale operator insisted that whilst he felt there wasn’t much between the two sides in West Yorkshire, the team are looking to turn their fortunes around as soon as possible, with Sunday’s fixture giving them the chance to do just that.
“For me personally coming off the back of a bad result, you always want to get back out there as soon as you can to try and get a positive one,” Rathbone told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I think Sunday gives us an opportunity to do just that. If we can get three points against Millwall, it’ll change the whole complexion of the week.
“Thursday night is gone now, we can only focus on what is in front of us and that is the Millwall game. We’re all determined to go out there and get a positive result."
“I honestly don’t think there was much in the game [against Huddersfield], they didn’t fight anymore than we did or play particularly better, but they took their chances when they came.
“They showed quality when their opportunities came around and that was the difference between the two sides on the night.
“We know it was a poor result and we’re in a bit of a tough run at the moment, but we also know that can quickly change. There’s still a long way to go in the season and we’re looking to put it right as soon as possible.”
Prior to the World Cup break, the Millers ran promotion chasers Burnley and Norwich City close before triumphing in the South Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United and taking a point against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Rathbone pointed to such performances as an example of what the side is capable of and says he’s confident that as long as the team stick together, they can get back on track towards their ultimate aim, which is to secure Sky Bet Championships survival.
“We know that we have performances like that in the bag and we’ve shown that we can compete against anyone on our day. This is a tough league and things aren’t always going to go our way.
“It’s really important for us to keep going and stick together, we’re giving everything every week in a really competitive league."
“It has a challenge, but one we've relished, playing at this level is a great experience and one we worked so hard to have last year.
“Last season, we battled so hard to get the opportunity to go to the likes of Turf Moor and Bramall Lane and give our all for the badge.
“I’d like to think that even when results aren’t going our way, people will know we’re giving everything out there and we’ll continue to do so.”
New Manager Matt Taylor has been afforded more time to work with the players on the training ground and put his ideas across to the team.
And Rathbone is hoping that all the hard work will be rewarded on the pitch in the coming weeks.
“Our two target men – Georgie Kelly and Tom Eaves – have unfortunately spent some time on the sidelines, so we’ve had to adapt our style slightly.
“I think as well, that when you give the ball away at this level, it is much harder to get it back. So I do think that the way we’re playing at the moment has its benefits and we have the players to play that way as well.
“Again, we’ve shown what we’re capable of already this season and there’s not reason why we can’t pull ourselves out of this dip in form and do that again.”