Bristol City 1 Rotherham United 0: My lads performed to their limits, claims Paul Warne

Rotherham interim manager Paul Warne knows that relegation to League One is just a matter of time after his side slumped to a 15th away defeat of the season.

The Millers are 15 points adrift of safety after defeat at Ashton Gate where they were in the game for large parts.

“I don’t think there was anything between the two sides, we set up 4-1-4-1 initially and I thought we contained them quite well,” said Warne. “As a group, I thought my lads performed to their limits. I don’t know how much more I can ask of them physically.

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“It was a tight game, neither of us were great attacking forces but they didn’t create a great deal. He (Lee Johnson) made a triple substitution because he needed to change it and that was the difference, we just came off the on the wrong side of it again.

“People will think it’s the same old story, but I don’t think we deserved to lose. I think a point would have been a fair result.”

Bristol City chief Johnson was relieved his gamble with substitutes paid off.

Johnson faced the wrath of an irate home crowd when he took off top scorer Tammy Abraham just before the hour mark in a triple substitution, getting ridiculed by the fans and accused of not knowing what he was doing.

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As it turned out, the former Barnsley manager knew exactly what he was doing as Abraham’s replacement, Milan Djuric, earned a first Championship victory in 10 games with a 73rd-minute header, which was set up by fellow substitute Jamie Paterson.

Johnson said: “I know it was a controversial decision but I believe we needed that spark and they gave us that spark. It’s nothing against the players I took off. I was putting on a goal-scorer, it’s not like I was putting on a centre-half.

“You make the decisions, sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Luckily, they were right on this occasion. We have substitutes who can make a difference. It’s great that we have got a fully-fit squad.”

The win came four days after the Robins ended an eight-game losing streak by drawing with Sheffield Wednesday and Johnson is looking on the positive side.

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“Now we are on a good run, with a draw and a win and now we have to maintain that good run,” he added.

“We have dragged a couple into it, you want to make it a five or six-team scenario. That will be great for the players. That was a tough old run and now we can move on and be positive.”

Bristol City: Giefer, Little (Taylor 58), Flint, Wright, Golbourne, Hegeler, Pack, Cotterill, Tomlin (Paterson 58), Bryan, Abraham (Djuric 58). Unused substitutes: Fielding, Brownhill, O’Dowda, Vyner.

Rotherham United: O’Donnell, Kelly (Blackstock 85), Ajayi, Wood, Purrington, Smallwood, Forde (Taylor 67), Vaulks, Newell, Mattock (Yates 63), Ward. Unused substitutes: Allan, Bray, Warren, Bilboe.

Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).