Manager of the Month nominee Neil Warnock has praised his Rotherham United players for standing firm in the face of Bristol City’s bid to intimidate them.
The clubs drew 1-1 at Ashton Gate on Tuesday after Robins boss Lee Johnson had urged his side to be aggressive and for the crowd to unsettle the visitors.
The Millers’ seventh game without defeat increased the gap between them and the Championship drop zone to six points with only six games of the season remaining.
And Warnock, who will find out tomorrow if he is the March winner of the managerial award, said: “That was the answer, to get a result. It was a super result for us. It’s a difficult place to come to, this. City have done well at home.
“I thought we were super again. I can’t say anything bad about anybody. The effort that they put in was fantastic.”
Warnock isn’t the only Rotherham figure to receive recognition for Rotherham’s superb March form, with midfielder Lee Frecklington, outstanding again in Bristol, among the four candidates for Player of the Month.
Warnock faces competition from Leeds United’s Steve Evans, Cardiff City’s Russell Slade and Burnley’s Sean Dyche, while Frecklington is up against Leeds’ Mirco Antenucci, Sheffield Wednesday’s Tom Lees and Burnley’s Sam Vokes.
The 67-year-old was left fuming by Johnson stoking up the home followers, which he said bordered on incitement.
“What pleased me most is how we stood up to the intimidation,” he said. “Their manager asked for it in the local newspaper. I thought he was out of order.”
Warnock, during his time at Crystal Palace several years ago, clashed with former City manager Gary Johnson, dad of Lee, when Palace had a legitimate goal ruled out and then lost in the dying seconds.
“Like father, like son,” Warnock added. “I dont think he should be saying things like that.
“The referee was fantastic. He didn’t stand for it. The first 10 minutes, they had two divers. They were lucky they didn’t get two bookings for diving. I thought that set the tone.”
Matt Derbyshire’s Goal-of-the-Season contender put the Millers ahead in the first half and, despite Peter Odemwingie’s equaliser in the second half, they were happy with their night’s work.
On Saturday, Rotherham travel to MK Dons, the team directly below them in the table and occupying the third and final relegation spot, with Warnock prescribing an easy time for his squad, who had a day off yesterday, between now and then.
“They have got to get a rest. On Thursday they won’t be doing much,” he said. “They can’t train hard and play like this so we have just got to ready for Saturday.
“I will have a look and see if there are any changes to make. I don’t know whether or not I will have to.”
Centre-half Lloyd Doyley has had a scan on the swollen knee which ruled him out of the Robins showdown, while utility man Greg Halford has a neck problem which is being monitored.