ROTHERHAM UNITED chief Paul Warne pulled no punches after his side’s 26th league defeat of the season.
Rotherham are now 18 points adrift of safety and relegation is only a matter of time in coming.
“Hand on heart, they were better than us and deserved the win,” said Warne.
“My job and remit off the chairman is to win as many games as I can and send the fans home happy. The lads gave me everything but it wasn’t enough to get the goals to win the game.
“I don’t claim to be a super manager, the lads are giving me everything they have got, but we haven’t possibly got that little bit of class.
“I am proud of the way they played at the end but I am disappointed with another defeat. We are doing everything to stop the rot so as long as people can appreciate it.”
Aston Villa chief Steve Bruce feared it might have been another one of those days before his team came good through an own goal from Will Vaulks, who could only turn Albert Adomah’s cross into his own net, and Jonathan Kodjia’s late second to register a first away win of 2017.
The game was littered with missed chances, and until Kodjia made the game safe a spirited Rotherham threatened to make Villa pay for their wastefulness.
They could have been three or four down in the first half as Lewis Price twice saved well from Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane, while Aimen Belaid produced a goalline clearance. After Bruce’s men weathered a Rotherham onslaught, Kodjia put the game in the bag with a low finish.
Rotherham United: Price, Kelly (Smallwood 18), Ajayi, Belaid, Purrington, Forde, Adeyemi, Vaulks, Taylor (Newell 60), Yates, Ward (Frecklington 46). Unused substitutes: Mattock, Bray, Warren, Bilboe.
Aston Villa: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Baker, Taylor, Jedinak, Adomah, Lansbury, Hourihane, Bjarnason (Grealish 33), Kodjia (Davis 89), Grealish (Amavi 44). Unused substitutes: Richards, Elphick, Bree, Bunn.
Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).