Rotherham United: Millers defender Joe Mattock hit by two-game ban
Rotherham United will be without yellow-card offender Joe Mattock for their next two matches after the defender failed by just a matter of minutes to escape a ban.
The Millers left-back took his number of cautions for the season into double figures at Wolves last Saturday and now misses this weekend’s trip to QPR and the home clash against Fulham on April 1.
The Molineux clash was Rotherham’s final match before last Sunday’s cut-off point for 10 bookings triggering a suspension.
And there were only two minutes of normal time remaining when the full-back halted the progress of Wolves substitute Morgan Gibbs-White and went into referee Jeremy Simpson’s notebook.
A 1-0 defeat left the Millers 21 points from survival at the foot of the second tier with only nine matches to go and relegation could be mathematically confirmed by the time Mattock is next eligible to play - in the New York Stadium derby against former club Sheffield Wednesday on April 4.
But the 26-year-old, who has played 30 times this season, says the mood in the camp remains good under caretaker manager Paul Warne.
“The lads are positive and so is Warney. That is the best way to be,” he said. “We have got a good bunch of lads in the dressing room.
“No lads are turning on each other. If anything gets said, it is all advice. There are no arguments or anything like that.
“We are lucky because I have been in teams where it’s been nowhere near as bad a situation that we’re in and players start turning on each other because of egos. It isn’t like that here.”
Youngster Ben Purrington is likely to step in at QPR to replace Mattock who played well in the Midlands despite conceding a spot-kick - saved by Lewis Price - when he tried and failed to usher the ball over the byline and finished up on the deck with Wolves winger Helder Costa.
“I was in front of Costa and I should have cleared it,” Mattock admitted. “He got inside of me. It did feel like he body-slammed me, but I made a mistake.”
Warne said: “I thought Joe was outstanding apart from giving the penalty away.
“I have got no issue with defenders who want to shield it out of play, but you have to be strong enough to do it and he wasn’t. Pricey pulled off a great save.”
The drop could be rubber-stamped in Rotherham’s first match after the forthcoming international break, against the play-off-chasing Cottagers.
The reserves this afternoon beat Chesterfield 3-2 at Roundwood after Kuda Muskwe’s last-minute goal.