Rotherham United vs Burton Albion: Paul Warne's delight as league-leading Millers find a way

By Paul Warne’s definition, Rotherham are a great team.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 3:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th December 2021, 3:15 pm
Rotherham United's Freddie Ladapo (left) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham. Isaac Parkin/PA Wire.

Warne reckons what separates great teams from good teams is finding a way to win when they are not at their best.

And that is exactly what Warne’s side did as they came through a stern second-half examination to beat Burton 3-1 at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

That extended the club-record unbeaten run to 20 games, though rarely during that spell have the Millers been tested as they were by the Brewers.

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Rotherham United manager Paul Warne during the Sky Bet League One match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham. Isaac Parkin/PA Wire.

A dominant first-half showing saw them lead through Freddie Ladapo’s close-range strike, only to be pegged back on the stroke of half-time by Kane Hemmings’ strike.

Ladapo’s second early after the restart, coolly slotting home after being sent clear, restored the hosts’ lead but then, as Warne later admitted, their goal was at siege from Burton.

They had several opportunities to level, none better than when Conor Shaughnessy headed a corner against the post.

But the Millers rode the storm and Dan Barlaser’s effort, from an in-direct free-kick from eight yards out, clinched another three points.

Warne said: “I said to them at half-time good teams find a way to stay in the game, great teams find a way to win, it doesn't matter how you win, you have just got to grind it out. “We've played significantly better in other games and we haven't won. We played better against Crewe but we didn't win.

“So I'm really proud of the fact they found a different way to win. But we need to learn the lessons of it. So that's the good thing.

“It's always good to teach lessons when you win because the lads are more responsive to what you're saying.

“I'm not saying anyone particularly played badly, but collectively in the second half we just weren't ourselves.

“And I think if we'd have got a second or third goal in the first half, you know, the game might be different and goals always change games, don't they?

“I'm really pleased that we've protected our record so to speak, but more the fact that the lads can take pride in the fact that even if you're not playing well, you've just got to dig in and just do the gritty part of the game.”