Paul Warne has forgiven Ben Purrington for his back-pass blunder as he tipped the new boy to become a top player for Rotherham United.
Former Plymouth Argyle youngster Purrington’s unwittingly played in Junior Hoilett for a key Cardiff City goal in their 5-0 demolition of Warne’s men last Saturday.
But the left-back has impressed since his leap from League Two to the Championship last month and Warne is ready to put his arm around the New York Stadium prospect.
“With Ben, I’m not annihilating him,” the caretaker manager said. “He’s jumped up two leagues. He’s been brilliant for a 20-year-old kid. He’s done really well.
“Unfortunately for him, he made the wrong decision at the wrong time. That culminated in a goal, which make it even worse for the poor kid.
“We have to try to pick him up because he will be a great player for us.”
Hoilett pounced for the Bluebirds’ second goal just before half-time at Cardiff City Stadium and the home side added two more within nine minutes of the restart as bottom club Rotherham went on to suffer their heaviest defeat of the season.
“Going in at half-time 2-0 down made it harder,” Warne said. “I told the lads, second half, to really have a go, but when we conceded again it was more about damage limitation.”
New centre-half Joel Ekstrand, formerly of Bristol City, had a baptism of fire as he made his Millers debut in South Wales, managing to play for more than an hour in his first match since September.
“Joel hasn’t played a first-team game for around five months so I always knew he was going to be rusty,” said Warne
“He’s trained with us for a couple of weeks. You can tell he is comfortable on the ball. Ideally, I’d play him in a three. After an hour, he started tiring, so I wasn’t going to risk him getting injured.”
Ekstrand was replaced in the 68th minute by Aimen Belaid who returned to the squad after a pulled hamstring.
“Aimen is back and could have started, but that’s another injury risk,” Warne added.
“I didn’t want him out again because he’s just come back from his ‘hammy’. It was an obvious substitution to make. I put Jerry (striker Yates) on as well for Dexter (Blackstock).
“I rolled the dice as many times as possible. Unfortunately, it was still the same result in the end.”
Rotherham are on their travels again this Saturday when they face Brentford at Griffin Park.