New boss Kenny Jackett admitted his surprise after branding Rotherham United’s home deat against Preston North End the poorest display since his arrival.
The Millers were seen off 3-1 at New York Stadium by Simon Grayson’s side and Jackett was expecting better after the Championship’s bottom club had shown a big improvement in his first two matches since succeeding Alan Stubbs.
Rotherham were unlucky to lose narrowly to Reading and then only draw at Ipswich Town, and Jackett said: “I was looking for more of the same and I thought there would be.”
Two Preston goals in five minutes midway through the first half turned the contest and the Millers head into the international break without a win in 12 matches, eight points adrift of safety.
“It was okay for 10 or 15 minutes where it was end to end, then the two goals have deflated it,” Jackett added. “It was the worst of the three performances.
“The first two games have been very competitive performances but here we didn’t get that. Preston got their noses in front with two relatively soft goals.
“We didn’t block the crosses and we gave them two free headers and that gave them control of the game.
“Our reaction to closing down and to be able to get there first and stop them playing through us was late consistently and they caused us problems.”
The new man is in no doubt where the focus in training needs to be during the two-week break after watching the Lilywhites add a late third goal within 10 minutes of Richard Wood reducing the arrears to 2-1 with a 71st-minute header.
“You need to get both boxes right and we have quite clearly given too many goals away this season,” he said. “Our ‘goals against’ column is poor.
“Since I have come in, we have conceded six goals in three games and it is very difficult to get points in those circumstances.”