Matt Crooks’s controversial red card 19 minutes into his side’s 2-1 home loss to Boro – at a time when the Millers were leading – has left everyone connected with the club feeling justifiably sore.
Should Rotherham even win their appeal for the dismissal of Crooks after what looked like an accidental clash of heads with Grant Hall, the damage has already been done.
After a third successive home loss for third-from-bottom Millers, who could have moved within a point of fourth-from-bottom Derby with two games in hand with victory, Warne must pick up the pieces and go again with high-flying Barnsley next up tomorrow.
Manager Warne said: “We have to pick them up as we still have five games left. It makes it even harder, a win would have made the table look really good.
“It was not to be, but the sending off will resonate in my brain for many a week. I let them suffer a little bit after as the pain of defeat can sometimes be a good thing and it can make you feel: ‘I don’t want to feel like that again on Saturday.’
“But I said to them when I left them: ‘At five o’clock on Saturday, you don’t know – you might be a point behind Derby.’ Don’t be too hard on yourselves. I did not think they deserved that.”
A modest haul of four points from five matches in quick succession has left the Millers with it all to do to stave off the drop.
Warne, who will be without Joe Mattock for the Oakwell derby as Shaun MacDonald returns, continued: “I was disappointed here (against Boro) as I felt like we were possibly on the bad end of a poor decision. That is what is hard to take. You can only control the controllables and for us, that wasn’t.”
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