Millers boss Matt Taylor bemoaned his side’s inability to capitalise on their early advantage as a Jobe Bellingham-inspired Sunderland ran out narrow victors at the Stadium of Light.
Hakeem Odoffin put the Millers ahead with a well-taken effort but it proved a false dawn as Bellingham turned the game on its head with a brace either side of the interval – with his first goal coming just two minutes after Rotherham’s opener.
“Immediately after the game, I’m frustrated. Especially their first goal on the back of just going ahead. We knew what this atmosphere would be like if we stayed ahead just that little bit longer. The pressure would have built on the home team and that was a moment we needed to see out better than we did. The second goal is an example of where we are at the moment. We defend their counter attack and win the ball back and then give it away. I felt that just happened all over the pitch. It happened too often today and meant it was a difficult encounter trying to stop them first before working our way up the pitch with a bit more control.
“I thought defensively we did enough to get something out of the game. Our use of the ball let us down too often, today. When it didn’t in the first half, we scored an outstanding goal and we created some good moments but as the game went on, maybe fatigue played it’s part and we gave the ball away too often. I think some players are playing on empty and we need some bodies back.
“The goal was one of the best, I have seen us score in terms of a passing move but still being aggressive with it. We got the ball through the thirds and into an attacking area. As the game progressed, it just did not happen enough. They pinned us back a bit in the second half. We did not have the quality towards the end of the game.
“Our spirit and parts of our defensive structure was excellent and I thought both full-backs, especially Dexter (Lembikisa), stuck to the task well”