New boy Brandon Barker marked his debut with a wonder-goal, yet boss Neil Redfearn had nothing but sympathy for Rotherham United’s loan teenager.
The 19-year-old, who has joined the Millers from Premier League giants Manchester City. lit up AESSEAL New York Stadium with a stunning long-range curler against Ipswich Town.
However, Rotherham were already trailing 4-0 when he struck and went on to lose 5-2 to remain at the foot of the Championship table.
New manager Redfearn slammed his side’s first-half performance and said Barker deserved better backing in his first match in senior football.
“He has got great ability, Brandon,” Redfearn said. “He did one or two things. He opened them up. But, to be fair to him, I felt sorry for him.
“He wasn’t getting any help and, sadly, it was the experienced players who let us down. It was a disappointing day.”
Barker, an England under-19 international who trains with the Premier League table-toppers’ first-team squad, has joined Rotherham until January.
“What we need to do, whatever system we play, is free him up and get him running at the opposition,” Redfearn said. “Once he starts going past people, he will start creating chances. He can finish. He has been a regular goalscorer for Manchester City U-21s.”
The Millers fought back to 4-2 against the Tractor Boys and had a penalty appeal turned down when striker Jonson Clarke-Harris tumbled in the box under a challenge from Christophe Berra as the homne side strove for a third goal.
“They are both pushing and shoving,” Redfearn said. “Jonson gets the last touch and it takes him into the. Obviously, their lad makes the challenge.
“If that is in midfield or anywhere else on the pitch then it’s a free-kick, so I have seen them given.
“They might have thought it was a bit soft, but he’s going in on goal. In all probability, it is a penalty. But we didn’t get it.”
Rotherham have two free agents with international and Championship experience training with them this week as Redfearn looks to bolster his squad.