NEIL REDFEARN has professed his delight with his Rotherham United’s vibrant second-half display in their entertaining 1-1 draw with high-flying Reading - a side who he believes are the best in the Championship.
A strike early in the second period from Danny Collins cancelled out a wonderful goal from the prolific Nick Blackman, his 11th goal of a predatory season, on 26 minutes to ensure the spoils were shared in Redfearn’s first game in charge at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Cajoled by some words at the interval, the Millers - who welcome Sheffield Wednesday in a televised clash on Friday night - produced an impressive show on the restart which pushed back the Royals defence, with Steve Clarke admitting that Rotherham posed his side more problems on their travels than any other Championship rival has managed.
It could not yield a winner for the patched-up Millers, fielding five players aged 22 or under, but home supporters certainly showed what they thought of the hosts’ showing at the final whistle, clapping Redfearn’s side off the pitch.
An enthused Redfearn, who made an impressive tactical switch in putting Tom Thopre in a holding midfield role, said: “I think they are the best side in the division and I saw a lot of the Championship before I got the job at Rotherham.
“What they have got is balance, pace and athleticism and they play with confidence. But in the second half, I think they knew they were in a game.
“If we’d come away with nothing, it would have been a travesty.
“When I came in, I think the initial feeling was that there was an initial fragility about us. But each game I am seeing now, we are growing.
“Our performance against Brentford probably deserved something with the performance and chances. Against Reading, we looked more about ourselves.
“The reaction of the supporters was maybe an endorsement of that. That was great for everybody and it gives the club a lift. We want to be looking forward to games, not worried about teams coming here.
“We want to be looking forward to the sides coming to play here. We have got a massive game now against Sheffield Wednesday and we will patch them up and put them back together. We are down to the bare bones and with five out, we haven’t a big squad.
“But with five out, I thought everybody played their part. There was a real drive and purpose about us to get a point.”