Huddersfield 2 Rotherham 0: 5 things we learned

Rotherham suffered a damaging defeat at Huddersfield on Tuesday, going down to a goal in either half from Mustapha Carayol and Ismael Miller.

It was a poor performance from the Millers and they are now four points from safety.

Here’s five things we learned from the game.


Not so Merry Christmas Millers

This loss was so damaging for the Millers on a number of levels. Firstly, it was against one of their rivals and as a result of their win Huddersfield are now six points clear of them. With MK Dons also winning and Charlton drawing, Rotherham are now four points adrift of safety and assured of spending Christmas in the bottom three. Also coming against a side they have to target to finish above what this defeat does for morale is anyone’s guess. The Millers have a free swing at Hull on Saturday, but the prospect of anything other than three points on Boxing Day does not bear thinking about. Season’s greetings!

Maybe Ipswich wasn’t the lowest ebb

When the green shoots of recovery came after the Ipswich game in the shape of back-to-back wins, it seemed like that 5-2 defeat was the Millers bottoming out. Well maybe not as a 10-minute spell after the break aside, this display was just as dismal as the one against the Tractor Boys and had they been playing a better side, they would have been put to the sword in a similar manner. They were well off the pace and could have been four down after 20 minutes. When the goal did come it was as a result of two players not closing Carayol down and that typified the lack of spirit and endeavour shown. When you’re going into battle with a weaker squad than most sides and then there’s no work-rate, it’s a bad combination. Another pick-up job is on the cards.

Redfearn can rant

The Millers boss didn’t leave anyone in doubt how he felt about the manner of the defeat and his post-match interviews were enthralling. He spoke openly, passionately and concisely about the loss, the reasons for the situation his side are in and how to go about changing it. Having done that once with radio and the local media, he then went and did it again with the national press, again talking with real passion. It was strong stuff and reminded everyone exactly what sort of job he has on his hands.

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All we want for Christmas is a goalscorer

There must be a real sense of deja vu for those reading about the Millers’ inability to put the ball in the back of the net. It has been a real problem since their entrance to the Championship and unless something is done next month it will be the reason for their relegation. Without wanting to labour a point, Jonson Clarke-Harris again highlighted that he is not the man the Millers should be relying on and fans should be expecting more than him whacking one in from 20 yards every couple of months. Matt Derbyshire is a shadow of the player that was so ineffective in the first half of the season and we’re still waiting to see whether Danny Ward can be the player Redfearn thinks he is. On the evidence so far, he’s not.
As bad as they were, Rotherham had the chance to level and change the game on the hour-mark when Joe Newell created space for himself eight yards out but then saw his shot saved and that epitomised where a big part of their problems lie. They are rarely able to put the ball in the back of the net when chances are at a premium, so never sneak a point or a smash-and-grab win. They need someone who can put the ball into the back of the net as a matter of urgency, which brings us on to….

Not the Best of luck

Given Redfearn has spent the last three weeks talking about how the Millers need Leon Best in their side, the fact that he picked up an injury just before he was due back says something about how the Millers’ luck has been with selection this season. Although it wasn’t bad luck why Best missed three games, he gave Gaetano Berardi a fair old whack after all, the timing of it so soon into an impressive start to his Millers career was highly frustrating. This sort of thing has not been in isolation this season as the Millers have regularly been hamstrung by injuries an at inopportune time. See Stephen Kelly, out for at least three games after picking up a calf injury, and Danny Ward’s constant battles with fitness.


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