Rotherham United: Millers management and players have their say on repeated mistakes
Rotherham United held a no-holds-barred dressing-room inquest in a bid to arrest their slide down the League One table.
The Millers slipped to 13th spot as they lost 2-1 at Bristol Rovers last Saturday, extending their winless league run to seven matches.
They paid the price for the latest in a series of individual defensive errors which have blighted their season and, afterwards, there was a frank exchange of views involving management and players, captain Lee Frecklington has revealed.
“There were stern words in there. There had to be,” the skipper said. “This has happened far too many times. It’s becoming a habit. It was time for some stern words.
“One or two people had a lot to say, which was needed. It’s something we desperately need to work on because it’s ruining our season. The season is going quickly and we keep making these mistakes. We need to turn it around.
“Everyone can have their say. It’s a team thing. It’s not just management. We all have to pull in the same direction. People have to say how they feel. That’s how the dressing room has been all season, and that’s how it should be. For some reason, in the last few weeks people aren’t learning.”
Rotherham, who travel to 12th-paced Blackpool this Saturday, led 1-0 at the Memorial Stadium but a Michael Ihiekwe misjudgement let Rovers in for an equaliser and the home side added a second goal before the visitors had 13-goal top scorer Kieffer Moore sent off for punching.
“We put ourselves in a great position and then we’ve managed to let them back into the game. That’s not acceptable,” Frecklington said. “It’s something we need to work on.
“We fought hard in tough conditions, got the goal, and I thought one goal was going to be enough because it wasn’t a game for football.
“Again, it’s a defensive mix-up, which we are saying too many times this season.”
Moore, the joint stop scorer in the Football League, will be banned for the next three matches following his 79th-minute dismissal as the Millers chased an equaliser.
“In any game, to get back into it you need 11 men on the pitch,” Frecklington said. “And you need your talisman. If anyone is going to score this season, it’s going to be Kieffer.
“To lose him the way we did is disappointing. I think he’ll be hurting more than anyone.
“Kieffer has to pick himself up. Kieffer’s an experienced player. He’s old enough to know what he did was wrong.
“When things like that happen, you look at yourself in the mirror and learn.”
Rotherham have sold more than 800 tickets for Saturday’s clash at Blackpool and have received an extra allocation.