Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 0: Missed opportunity for Millers, says boss Paul Warne

Luke Ayling celebrates
Luke Ayling celebrates
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Rotherham United manager Paul Warne believes his team missed a great opportunity to upset Leeds on their home patch on Saturday.

The Millers were good value in the first half at Elland Road in what was always going to be a tough Yorkshire derby showdown.

But they missed two excellent chances to lead before the break and ultimately slipped to a 2-0 defeat.

Warne reflected: “The lads had a real opportunity to upset the apple cart – and they didn’t take it.

“They’re great human beings my lads, but they have to believe they are better than they were today.

“We want to get better and really compete, but we’ve got to be realistic. I hope they all think we need to improve, even by five per cent would benefit us.

“In the Championship you don’t get many opportunities to score, especially away from home, so hopefully we take more of them going forward.”

If Jon Taylor’s shot had not rattled the inside of the left upright and keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell had not produced a fine point-blank block to thwart winger Ryan Williams, then the Millers could have easily led.

But goals from Luke Ayling, his first for Leeds and first since April 2015, and a clinical second half strike from leading scorer Kemar Roofe did the damage as Leeds made it three successive league victories and four in all competitions.

Ayling’s 49th minute goal was only awarded after referee Robert Jones sought the help of goalline technology, but there was no doubt about Roofe’s 72nd minute closer.

Warne added: “I thought we set up well against an excellent team. We had a couple of good chances and we limited them to a few chances in the first half.

“At half-time we praised the lads and told them that they can’t drop the standards.

“So from my point of view I was disappointed we conceded from a set-piece. Our defender [Richard Wood] said he was fouled in the build-up,

“We went toe-to-toe and the lads deserve some credit. A lot of pundits had us down for a big drubbing, but we matched them and I’m really proud of the group.

“The Leeds players are so trustworthy on the ball it made us do a lot of running, which ultimately killed us.

“We’ve got to take the challenges head on this season because there are no easy games.

“If we’re going to have a good season we need to pick points up on our travels.”

Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper (c), Berardi, Phillips, Klich (Jansson 90+1), Alioski, Hernandez, Saiz (Baker 80), Roofe (Bamford 87). Subs: Blackman, Pearce, Harrison, Shackleton.

Rotherham: Rodak, Vyner, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Wood (Vassell 76), Palmer (Mannin 71), Taylor, Williams, Smith (Proctor 78), Raggett. Subs: Bilboe, Ball, Robertson, Newell.

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside). Attendance: 33,699