The Richard Wood column: Proper defending, the survival sixes and Matt makes a fool out of a teammate
It's becoming a familiar sight for me now after the game. In the changing rooms, I check my phone to see the full-time scores.
Lo and behold, Leicester again win 1-0.
They have won 1-0 for the fifth time in six matches now and look good for an unlikely Premiership title.
Their defence is a major reason why they are enjoying so much success. As a defender myself, it is great to watch the Foxes be so resolute at the back.
The two centre-halves, Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, are my kind of defenders. Big, strong, no-nonsense players who love defending. You rarely see these two taking chances in possession. I now see a lot of defenders in the modern game taking too many risks and a lot of goals conceded are down to mistakes and defenders trying to be too clever.
Players at the back need to defend first and foremost, and if you can be solid at the back then this is the perfect platform for a successful football team.
This basis is now evident with the Millers. We are on a great unbeaten run and it is no coincidence we haven’t conceded many goals, and as a team we have a very good defensive shape and look difficult to beat.
Teams are finding us tough to break down and credit has to go not just to the players but also to the management who set the team up every week. The results have been based on our good organisation, workrate and our never-say-die attitude, incorporated with the moments of quality to produce the goals.
It’s all the sixes at the moment.
Six weeks ago we were six points from safety.
Six weeks later we are now six points clear of the drop zone.
The last six games see Rotherham top of the form table.
Six games to go.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround but it will count for nothing if we don’t continue picking up points. We’ve given ourselves a great chance of retaining our Championship status. However, nothing is guaranteed and we need to remain focused for the run-in.
On a lighter note, last Friday was April Fools’ Day, and at a football club, with a group of lads, the morning rarely passes with no practical jokes.
We all had a good laugh when Matt Derbyshire came into the training ground and told us what had happened on his commute into training. He’d rung one of the players and asked if he would pick him up from the stadium and give him a lift to the training ground.
The player in question agreed, bought him a coffee and was sat in his car waiting outside the stadium for him. After a few minutes’ waiting, there was no Derbyshire. A phone call followed to Matt whose answer was simply: “April Fools’!”