Rotherham United: Boss Alan Stubbs sticks by players as Millers defeats mount

Alan Stubbs will keep backing his players as long as he believes they're giving their all for Rotherham United.

Sunday, 16th October 2016, 11:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 2:50 pm
Alan Stubbs at Norwich

The Millers are bottom of the Championship and five points off a survival spot after last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Norwich City saw them lose for the fifth successive match.

But the manager is adamant no-one in his team is shirking from the challenge of turning round their season.

Match action from Carrow Road

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“I’ll stick behind them 100 per cent if they give me 100 pc effort,” he told The Star.

“They’re trying their best. I can accept that all day long. It’s when I don’t see that that I would be more concerned. I’ve got a group of lads doing the best they can do.

“I can’t ask them to do more than they can give. I would like to! For me, they don’t look like a group of players who have downed tools.”

Rotherham have played the division’s top three teams - Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United and the Canaries - in their last three matches and head to sixth-placed Birmingham City tomorrow looking to avoid opening their campaign with seven straight losses on the road.

Dexter Blackstock scores

“We’ll keep going, keep working hard in trying to be hard to beat and see where that takes us,” Stubbs said.

“When you’ve played one, two and three in the division and given them a right game, there’s the belief that you need. We could have taken a point against Huddersfield, the same against Newcastle. Against Norwich we were chasing the game but we competed well for large parts of the game.

“The players just need to have a little bit more belief when they do win the ball and have a little bit more composure. When you’re winning and confident, you try things and it’s amazing how often they come off. When you’re losing games, you go into your shell a little bit and play a safe pass because you’re scared of making a mistake.”

Rotherham have kept only one clean sheet all season. When asked how the Millers go about reversing that trend, Stubbs said: “Don’t play one, two and three in the league in the last three games.

Match action from Carrow Road

“It’s not rocket science. It’s about cutting out individual and collective mistakes. It’s easier said than done at times. We could have done better with all the goals.”

Striker Dexter Blackstock opened his Millers account four minutes after entering the action at Carrow Road as a 70th-minute substitute.

“The goal is a positive for Dexter,” Stubbs added. “He gives us something different to what we’ve been playing. It will be good for him in terms of his own confidence, not that he particularly needs it.”

Dexter Blackstock scores