Swinging momentum

A week can be a long time in football.
In the immediate aftermath of Rotherham’s thrilling 4-3 win at Gillingham last week there was a real sense of optimism that they could hunt down Brentford and claim that second automatic promotion spot.
The manner of the win – another late, late show – and the continuation of a magnificent run of form made it seem as if the Millers could never be beaten and there was a real force behind them.
But fast-forward six days and two derby games later and that top two dream is all-but over and all of a sudden there is talk of lost momentum, hitting the wall, and poor performances.
The defeat at Sheffield United was a big blow. The Millers came into the game with a lot of hype and expectation, but the reality is that – controversial late penalty aside – they were well below the best.
It was always going to happen at some point, there was simply no way that the Millers would always be able to find a way to win a game when they were not at their best. It was just a shame that one of their poorest performances of 2014 came on the biggest stage.
However, as off-the-boil as they were, the game at Bramall Lane was definitely not one they deserved to lose. The Blades rarely threatened and the controversial late penalty gave them the points when a 0-0 draw was a fair result.
Then just three days later the Millers were forced into battle again against Bradford, who came and parked the bus.
There were a few boos and quite a lot of discontent after a 0-0 draw, but the fact of the matter is the hosts deserved to win the game and a failure to put chances away was all that cost them. 
No one, including Bradford fans clouded by a hatred of the Millers, could have batted an eyelid if they had won that two or three-nil.
Although their performance did not reach the heights of the Brentford game, it was by far better than games against Walsall and Stevenage to name just a couple. All that was missing was a late goal.
If Kari Arnason had put that header away at the death, which he clearly should have done, then everyone would have gone home happy, normal service resumed, and people would have been blogging about another late goal deciding a Millers match.
But it wasn’t to be and they had to settle for a point, which unfairly or not has seen the mood change around the club.
Last week automatic promotion was a real possibility, now the focus is all about regaining that momentum heading into the play-off campaign.

But regardless of what happens in the final four games of the season, with Steve Evans’ ability to get his players up for the big games more often than not, the Millers will be a force in the end-of-season showpiece.



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