Rotherham United: Millers aim to stay clear of 95-year low

Alan Stubbs
Alan Stubbs
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Rotherham United emerge from the international break this weekend determined to avoid their worst away start to a season for nearly a century.

If the Millers lose at second-placed Norwich City in the Championship on Saturday, they will have opened their season with six straight defeats on the road.

The last time that happened was 95 years ago in 1921 when the club were operating in the old English Division Two.

Rotherham are bottom of the second tier after 11 games but produced encouraging performances in their previous two matches, a 2-1 reverse at Huddersfield Town and a 1-0 home loss against Newcastle United.

They head to Carrow Road with boss Alan Stubbs telling them their fortunes will change if they maintain the standards they set against the Terriers and Magpies.

“The last two games, I don’t think anyone could deny we could have taken something from each of them,” he said.

Izzy Brown

Izzy Brown

“Unfortunately, we’ve taken nothing. But I’ve told them: ‘Don’t even attempt to feel sorry for yourselves. That’s going to get you nothing. The only thing that’s going to you something is to keep working hard, keep putting the performance levels in. And it will change. It will turn for you.’”

In 1921, the Millers actually lost their first seven away fixtures, going down 4-0 at Coventry City, 3-1 at Wolves, 2-0 at Crystal Palace, 4-2 at Bradford Park Avenue, 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, 4-0 at Fulham and 3-1 at Blackpool before finally winning 2-1 at Leyton Orient on November 19.

Norwich, with five wins in their last six matches, represent formidable opposition in 2016, but Stubbs feels his side are finally coming together after a difficult start to his first campaign at the helm.

“It’s going in the right direction,” he said. “I certainly feel as if we’re starting to produce a performance that reflects what we want for the club.

“Against Newcastle, there was a lot more devilment, desire and commitment, and it was better organised. So all these things are starting to come to fruition a little bit.

“But the most important thing is that I want the players to be rewarded now for their efforts in terms of taking something from games. I feel for them.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea loan youngster Izzy Brown has revealed how much he enjoys partnering Danny Ward in the Millers attack.

The pair have struck up an instant bond, with Ward already bagging five goals and Brown, who is more of a provider, two.

“Danny is a great player and you can see that every day in training,” 19-year-old Brown said. “The way he plays in training, and his finishing and things after training, show you that we’re lucky to have him in the team.

“We know he’ll score 10-plus goals this season because he’s a great finisher. I’m happy to be playing with him. We’ve got a good understanding. We’re working well and I hope that can keep going as the season kicks on.”

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