New Rotherham manager Neil Redfearn was keen to take the positives out of his side’s reverse at fellow strugglers Brentford.
He admitted there were similarities between his Millers side and Leeds when he took the reins there, but insisted he was pleased with the performance.
“We looked fragile and unsure but I felt we did enough to get something from the game. We showed a lot of spirit but I was disappointed with the goals,” he said.
His first game could not have started in worse fashion, with Alan Judge giving the Bees the lead with a delightful looping volley from the edge of the area just 67 seconds after Redfearn had taken his seat in the dug-out.
But his side responded well to Brentford’s bright start, carved open a handful of chances and levelled a minute after the restart, Joe Mattock striding through the home midfield to smash home a rising drive from fully 25 yards.
But the Millers’ hard work and wasted chances before the break came back to haunt them when Judge cemented his claim for a place in the Irish full squad with a deft headed goal midway through the second half.
Redfearn said: “We looked good going forward and created chances but this is only the start of a process. I was pleased with the performance but we have to do more about the goals against and make ourselves harder to beat.
“We also need to be more clinical in front of goal but these are things that have been happening all season and I am still in the process of looking at the players. If some need help we may have to help them.”
Redfearn’s preparations were hampered by losing winger Danny Ward in the warm-up with a back spasm, but the hosts just about deserved their win in a game that showed only rare flashes of quality.
Brentford coach Lee Carsley said: “The result was the main thing for us. We started well and won the ball straight back from the kick-off, but we started the second half poorly so we’ll talk about that.
“We had a great reaction to the equaliser. It would have been easy to start to have doubts at 1-1 but we knuckled down, got on with it and got our reward for a lot of hard work this week.”
Carsley admitted his side looked nervous and struggled to retain the ball at times, but added: “I thought we only did that well for 20 of the 90 minutes – at times we looked a little jittery and nervous – but as your confidence grows you can increase that each game.”
Brentford: Button, Yennaris, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell, McCormack; Woods, Canos (Gogia 69), Swift (Diagouraga 79), Judge; Djuricin (Hofmann 64). Unused substitutes: Bonham, Kerschbaumer, Vibe, O’Connell.
Rotherham United: Camp, Buxton, Rawson, Collins, Mattock (Ledesma 82); Maguire (Bowery 74), Green, Smallwood, White (Grant Ward 64); Derbyshire, Clarke-Harris. Unused substitutes: Broadfoot, Halford, Collin, Andreu.
Referee: I Williamson (Berkshire).
Man of ther match: Alan Judge.