'A great moment to celebrate with the fans' - Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor hails a job well done
Having been promoted and relegated over the past five seasons, the Millers were desperate to avoid a third successive relegation – which they did with the win over Middlesbrough in their penultimate game.
“It was their moment, this, and for the players,” said Taylor, inset. “It was a reward and recognition for what they’ve done over the previous 45 games.
“We did what we set out to do, and we achieved that last Monday. This was a celebration of that.
“In the first half, I quite liked us as a team, and we created enough openings to probably go ahead in the game.
“In the second half, we became a little bit disjointed, along with the game.
“But I don’t want to read too much into that, because we’d already done our work for the season. And it was a great moment at the end for the players, to be able to celebrate with the fans.
“I’ve just been told that’s been our best away following for nine years, and I think that shows the connection between the fans and this group of players – and it’s all about trust.
“I came in a couple of months into the season, and I’ve started to build that trust with them, as they have with me. The fans are the same, and they’ll only do that if we achieve our goals – and this year, that was staying in the league.”
The Rotherham fans certainly responded in numbers, selling out the away end at the DW Stadium, where all of the pre-match talk had focused on Wigan's failure to pay their players on time for a fifth time this season.
The Millers made the early running as Tariqe Fosu danced through the Wigan defence and got in his shot, but the goalkeeper was able to make a fine stop with his body.
The home defence parted again as Jamie Lindsay made his way through some non-existent tackling. But this time on-loan midfielder Christ Tiehi stuck out a foot in the nick of time to toe it back to Tickle.
As half-time approached, Fosu crossed from the right and the ball flew only just in front of the lunging Jordan Hugill at the far post.
After the restart, a Rotherham break saw them threaten two-on-two, but a great recovery from Tom Pearce and then James McClean snuffed out the danger.
The Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson pulled off a stunning save moments later to keep out Omar Rekik's header from a Callum Lang free-kick.
Lang had one last effort to break the deadlock right at the end but his shot, which was travelling, was superbly gathered by Johansson.