We lacked magic touch, says Rotherham United boss Paul Warne after Rochdale defeat
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne bemoaned a lack of magic as his team fell to a shock 1-0 loss at home to Rochdale.
Dale's winner came in the first half with teenager Luke Matheson picking out Aaron Morley at the edge of the box and the midfielder bent an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
Warne saw his side fail to replicate any similar sort of quality as they huffed and puffed but failed to break down a young Rochdale backline.
Warne said: “They had that little bit of magic that we failed to find. I made changes. I thought it might have had a positive effect.
“I could come out with loads of reasons as to why I think we didn't win the game, but fundamentally they bent one in from 20 yards and we didn't.
“Sometimes your subs work and sometimes they don't, but we were desperately trying to get a goal. Had we got the first goal then the game might have taken a different path.
“We asked the lads to be positive and make them defend.
“They got a brilliant goal. Unfortunately we did not have anyone who could have done the same bit of magic.
“We just didn't have enough quality in the final third and it just didn't drop to us.
“It was a good opportunity to stabilise ourselves in the top six. It feels like another setback.
“Our performance wasn't a bad one. But for whatever reason, if we don't score first at home it adds to the pressure.”
The feeling of disappointment was compounded by the fact Dale arrived at the New York Stadium with nine first-team regulars missing.
Rotherham failed to capitalise. They could have gone ahead through Matt Crooks' header but it bounced back off the post and away to safety.
They pushed on further in the second period but did not produce a clear-cut chance, with Crooks skewing an effort wide and substitute Jake Hastie firing straight at the commanding visiting keeper Robert Sanchez.
Dale manager Brian Barry-Murphy said: “It was testament for the players that they have come through a difficult week and a tough run of results to produce a performance befitting of such a tough ground.”