Liddell’s men bid to cash in as Cheltenham reel from that 8-1 defeat at Crewe

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ROTHERHAM United will be prepared for some sort of determined response from Cheltenham Town when they turn up at Whaddon Road tomorrow a week after a nightmare afternoon for the West Country club.

Their 8-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra was a record defeat for Cheltenham since they came into the Football League in 1999.

Manager Mark Yates said he was embarrassed and that it was “totally unacceptable from second minute to the 95th.”

And he added: “It was poor defending, poor midfield play and there were too many people wanting to do their own thing.” An apology was made to the club’s fans.

So, guess what the players have had drilled into them this week? That “they must work harder and defend better.”

So, the Play-off chasing Millers will have to be prepared for a backlash of sorts although Cheltenham’s defending has needed tightening for some time now.

They have not kept a clean sheet for the last 15 games and not kept one at home since December 28.

In eight of their last nine games they have conceded at least twice, the exception being a 2-1 home win over Stockport.

That win is the only one in their last 10 home games, a run that started by losing to Wycombe on January 1.

In their last home game they did lead Gillingham from the third minute until being caught by two goals in the last five minutes.

That was one of five defeats in their last six games and they have lost their last three at home.

So, the Millers are hardly meeting a side in prime form.

First signs of defensive vulnerability probably came at the Don Valley Stadium in August when they had a 3-1 lead but lost 6-4 with Adam Le Fondre scoring four times.Speedy striker Wes Thomas looked handy that day. He is in double figures and scored at Crewe.

Strike partner Jeff Goulding is out with an ankle injury but experienced Andy Gallinagh is fit and could start.

Rotherham have their own reasons for extracting a response after the poor show against Morecambe.

Major poser for caretaker-manager Andy Liddell comes if Ian Thomas-Moore is fit.

Does he go straight back into the side in place of Le Fondre, who has been less effective away from home, or does he consider Le Fondre did enough last Saturday to stay in the team.

Liddell knows that Rotherham really do need a win otherwise they risk the gaps above them opening a bit wider.