Rotherham United: Boss Paul Warne says Millers should have been more "fearless" in MK Dons defeat

Rotherham United went into their crunch match with MK Dons hoping it would be a pivotal day in the League One promotion race.
Paul Warne, Rotherham United manager (photo by George Wood/Getty Images).Paul Warne, Rotherham United manager (photo by George Wood/Getty Images).
Paul Warne, Rotherham United manager (photo by George Wood/Getty Images).

They knew a win would see them move 13 points clear of the third-placed Dons with 10 games remaining and that the champagne would firmly be on ice.

And things were looking good after 45 minutes as they led 1-0 through Dan Barlaser’s penalty, which saw MK Dons defender Dan Harvie sent off.

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But a hopeless second-half performance allowed the 10-man visitors to hit them with two goals in two minutes as Harry Darling and Mo Eisa turned the game on its head.

The Millers had nothing in response, slipping to a first home defeat since September.

And now they will be hoping that it was not a pivotal day in the League One promotion race.

Instead of being 13 points clear and virtually home and dry, they are now just seven points ahead of the Dons, who have all the momentum.

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Not to mention second-placed Wigan now have the title destiny in their own hands as they are now four points adrift but with two games in hand.

But boss Paul Warne will not be stressing over whether they win the title or not after a result he felt had been coming.

By his own admission, the Millers had been pushing their luck in recent matches, scraping results when performances had not been there.

The boss said: “It has been coming, it is not a lack of effort from the lads, we just haven't been at our best. I don't want people to think it is going to be a nice pedestrian walk to promotion, that is not how football is, it is difficult.

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“The opposition played well today but our level of performance has got to improve if we are going to achieve anything.

“In the second half we had a mad 10 minutes and we never really recovered from it and I just thought that, we just played with a bit of fear in the second half.

“No one wanted to make a mistake on the ball, but kept the ball but did nothing with it for no reason.

“We should have played a bit more fearlessly."

“We moved the ball side to side and they were camping in and it was 10 v 6,” he added.

“If we moved the ball quicker we would have had the man advantage but we didn't have the ball speed to hurt them enough.

“But we still had enough chances to probably earn a point but it wasn't us at our best. You have to respect the opposition but it is disappointing.”