Paul Warne sides with referee as Rotherham United hit the play-off places

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Paul Warne refused to criticise referee Darren Handley as his Rotherham United side moved into the League One play-off positions for the first time this season.

READ MORE - Rotherham United edge victory despite their home discomfort

Paul Warne's side moved into the League One play-off places with a 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley

Paul Warne's side moved into the League One play-off places with a 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley

The Millers had Chiedozie Ogbene sent off for two second-half yellow cards, and the home fans were unhappy with the referee all afternoon, using their anger to get behind the team in a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Accrington Stanley.

Ogbene pulled an opponent's shirt shortly after the hour, and was booked again for diving when back defending in his own half in the 82nd minute.

“In fairness to the ref he's there so I presume he's right,” commented Warne. “I haven't seen it back.

“The rules are the rules. I've got no sympathy.

“If he's dived, which is what the referee said to me he deserves his second yellow. I thought at the time he'd won it back and we had a free-kick so it was disappointing but the rules are there.”

Many in the stands felt Handley should have dismissed Accrington goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov for a foul on Matt Crooks. Instead, he received a caution. Warne felt it was the right decision.

“I didn't think the goalkeeper should have been sent off,” he said. “I thought the referee handled that really well, he got his yellow out straight away and I thought there were covering defenders.

“I do believe if that had been an outfield player it might have been a red but I would much rather my player stayed on his feet an scored.

“I thought there were a lot of fouls. First half he did try and speed the game up for us.

“All you can ask of your players is to be the best they can be, and the same with the officials, so I'm not here to criticise that.”
Rotherham dominated the first half, but were unable to add to the lead given them by a Carlton Morris header. Accrington were much improved after the break.

“First half I thought we were superior but if you keep giving away set piece suggest sooner or later probability would suggest you're going to concede, so I wasn't best pleased with how we gave away corners.

“I thought first half we probably should have scored straight away from Carlton, who scored his header, and we were okay but I knew second half they'd come at us.

“We just need that second goal which was elusive, hence the pressure and the doggedness we needed at the end.

“Carlton took his goal really well and him and Chieo were the threats in the first half.

“I thought Accrington did everything I knew they would. They threw the kitchen sink at us, defended really well and made it difficult for us.

“They got draws at the two top teams, Coventry and Wycombe, so we knew it was going to be tough.

“It's nice to win, obviously. It puts up into sixth position, which is good.

“I still think there's a lot more to come from the team and the squad with injuries coming back.

“We dug in a little bit and showed all the positives. The fans were good when we were down to ten men, they helped the lads out, really. In a perverse sort of way it helped us.

“There were parts of the play I was really pleased with but it's all about winning, innit?

“At the end of the season these three points will be worth the same as a 5-0 win. People always tell me it's a sign of a good team if you can win when you're not at your best.”