Wes Harding: Rotherham United star feels 'hard done by' to be a League One player
Rotherham United defender Wes Harding feels he and his team-mates have been hard done by to be starting the new season as League One players - but the club’s Supporters' Player of the Year won't be sulking.
The Millers were relegated from the Championship on the final day last term after conceding a late equaliser, having recovered from two coronavirus outbreaks in their camp to give themselves a fighting chance of staying up with one of the division’s smallest budgets.
The club were forced to play four games in just nine days in April – and set a new EFL record for the highest number of defeats by a single goal in a season: 19.
Despite the team’s struggles, 24-year-old Harding impressed in his first season in South Yorkshire and added The Star’s Player of the Year award to his growing collection of accolades this week.
Rotherham boss Paul Warne described Harding as a “beautiful person” on the night and said he felt the ex-Birmingham City youngster should feel hard done by to have to drop down a league.
When asked if he felt the same, Harding told The Star: “Yeah. I feel as a team we had enough to stay up.
"In football things don’t go your way, but I’m here to play football and get back up.
"It will be tough, it’s always tough. No matter what teams are in there it’s always going to be tough so we’re not expecting an easy year.”
Such was Harding’s progress last season he received international recognition, making his debut for Jamaica in June during a friendly against Serbia.
On his latest award, he added: “It’s beautiful. Of course, everybody says it: it’s about the lads and team team, which of course it is, but at the same time it’s nice to be appreciated
"Paul Warne has put me on a platform in terms of playing week in, week out. He’s enabled me to just showcase my talent game after game and I’m grateful for that.”
The Millers are hoping for their fourth promotion from the third tier in nine years. They begin the new season at home to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday,