Rotherham United’s reaction to their Villa Park defeat will be a key aspect of their return to League One action against Notts County.
That’s the view of Millers manager Steve Evans as his side prepare for the trip to Meadow Lane tomorrow.
Rotherham saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by Aston Villa on Wednesday and with the ‘Famous Five’ winning run from the final five matches of last season tagged on, it meant they had gone ten games since the last defeat.
“It meant we’d not lost for a while at this football club and we don’t want to lose for a while again,” said Evans.
“The dressing room was flat afterwards. In fact, it was flat at half-time because they had done so well at the start and then find themselves punished for two mistakes and they’re 2-0 down.
“It is now how they react. That’s very important. We are back in the league pretty quickly and, remember, we’re still unbeaten in the league so we’ll want to keep that going.
“We shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves because we have gone and lost to a very good side led by a fine manager who paid us a massive compliment in view of the side he put out, added the Rotherham manager.
“In that opening spell, we were by far the better side and the players should certainly remember that. But if you make mistakes then sides like that have the quality to hurt you and they do and Villa did.”
Notts County are also coming off the back of a Capital One Cup visit to a major club, in their case Liverpool, who they stunned by coming from two down at half-time to force extra-time before losing 4-2.
Like the Millers, they have to overcome the potentially draining effect, both mentally and physically, when returning to league matters after a ‘big’ game for lower division sides.
Any plan Evans may have had to utilise the experience of Claude Davis at Villa were thwarted when the big defender pulled out after falling ill on Wednesday morning. David Noble picked up a knock in training which meant they ended up with only six substitutes.
Davis is certain to start against Sheffield United next week with Kari Arnason and Michael O’Connor on international duty.
Rotherham will again have good backing having taken almost 3,500 to Villa Park - “the support was fantastic in sheer volume and numbers,” said Evans.