Some Rotherham United players were playing for their futures when they took on Sheffield Wednesday in the South Yorkshire derby.
The Millers drew 0-0 at Hillsborough last Saturday, after a warning from manager Steve Evans who had found the 3-0 defeat at Reading four days earlier so hard to take.
“At Reading a number of players didn’t let me down, they let themselves down,” he said. “That’s the worst thing you can do, let yourself down. We’ve all done that. I’ve done that.
“Individually they were told in no uncertain terms that it ’s unacceptable and if it happened once again they wouldn’t be with us.”
The manager’s words had the desired effect and in the derby the spirit and appetite for hard work which has characterised Evans’ reign was back again.
Evans added: “Collectively, we asked for a response, and they gave a fantastic response. My players’ reaction at the end said it all. They were sat in the dressing room really frustrated that we’ve taken only a point.
“It was always going to be tough leading up to international week - three games away from home and Middlesbrough at home sandwiched in between. And we go down to 10 men against them with the biggest travesty of a decision ever.
“I’m a manager who prides himself on working hard and I probably watch more games than half the Championship managers put together in a month. I tell my players when they sign they have to give us everything on a football pitch.”
The Millers have no Championship match this weekend because of the international break, before returning to action with successive home games against Birmingham and Blackpool.
“Some players will get freshened up (during the break) and some will be given more work,” Evans said.
Meanwhile, Rotherham United Nostalgia Society have arranged a trip to see club legend Danny Williams next week to mark his 90th birthday. Williams holds the record for most Rotherham appearances, and members of the society are meeting up with him and some of his family in Norfolk on Thursday, his actual birthday.
A strong Millers reserves side won 8-0 at Mansfield on Tuesday nightwith goals from Jordan Bowery, Conor Newton 2, Matt Derbyshire, Nicky Walker 2, Richard Wood and Mitchell Rose.
Rotherham: Thompson, Rose (Bailey 78), Wood, Lucas (Peace-McDonald 62), Milsom, Bowery, Newton, Hall, Walker (Muskwe 78), Clarke-Harris, Derbyshire.