Why playing behind-closed-doors on the road could help Rotherham United

If there is ever a time for Rotherham fans not to be allowed into away games then it is probably when they are in the Championship.

By Jonathan Veal
Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 12:58 pm

The season kicks off on Saturday behind closed doors and even when fans are expected to be allowed back in stadiums some time in October, it will be home supporters only.

If the Millers' recent second-tier record on the road is anything to go by then their fans are not going to be missing much.

Indeed the faithful travellers have endured plenty of miserable miles as their side have won just one of their last 48 away games in the Championship.

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Rotherham United boss Paul Warne will be hoping his side can improve their away form during the forthcoming Championship season. Picture Bruce Rollinson

They have drawn 11 of them, meaning they have suffered 36 defeats in that time.

That solitary win came in the 2018-19 season when Semi Ajayi's last minute header gave them a 2-1 victory at QPR, with Paul Warne's men also posting a respectable eight draws.

The 2016-17 campaign was nasty, though, as in a horrible relegation season, which saw three managers at the helm, they only managed two draws, losing their other 21 games.

It is a shocking run and one that Warne's side will have to address if they are to try and avoid a third successive relegation from the division.

The lack of fans in the first few weeks should help them as the trips to the big clubs, where there would usually be 20,000-plus supporters spurring the hosts on, suddenly should be less daunting.

Over the last few seasons it is hard to say how many refereeing decisions have been influenced by a vociferous home crowd?

For as long as matches are behind-closed-doors that should be negated and it really will be a crime if the Millers do not improve on their dreadful away record at this level in recent years.

They have the chance to make a good start as they head to Wycombe on Saturday.

The Chairboys have never played at this level before and could also be at a disadvantage by having no home support, with their tight Adams Park stadium set to stand them in good stead this season.