Covid-hit Rotherham United praised by Paul Warne after derby defeat to Barnsley

MANAGER Paul Warne hailed his under-strength Rotherham United squad following a narrow defeat to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.

TIGHT TUSSLE: Barnsley's Victor Adeboyejo of Barnsley takes on Rotherham's Dan Barlaser. Picture: Steve Riding.

The Millers went into the game with a seriously depleted squad, with players having missed numerous training sessions and having seen the previous two fixtures postponed.

A host of players were still missing for Tuesday night’s derby, either through injury or positive Covid-19 results meaning Warne could only name six substitutes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“As a manager, I am really proud of them,” said Warne. “The lads could have crumbled but they were really dogged and could have got a point in the end.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

“I thought they put in an unbelievable effort. We had players on the pitch that hadn’t even trained a day and the majority of them only trained twice in 11 days.

“I knew we were going to be rusty and we weren’t going to be as sharp as the lads had liked. But we’ll pick them up again on Thursday and look forward to Cardiff on Saturday.”

The Reds took an early two-goal lead through Cauley Woodrow and Alex Mowatt, but found themselves under pressure after the break as the Millers fought back to halve the deficit through Michael Smith.

The hosts had other chances later on in the game to level, but ultimately came up short to lose out 2-1, with Warne feeling their efforts deserved more.

“The first chance they get, they put away,” added Warne. “And they are very good at counter-attack and took their second goal very well.

“We were competing but we didn’t have much quality really. We changed it at half time and we created enough in the second half to come away with a point.

“On another day those chances drop in. It wasn’t to be.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.