Rotherham United need solution for set-piece failings

Rotherham United defender Clark Robertson: Knows pressure is on.
Rotherham United defender Clark Robertson: Knows pressure is on.
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Clark Robertson says Rotherham United want to be the set-piece kings of League One but admits they have plenty to work on after being outsmarted by Lincoln City.

The promoted Imps scored from two set-pieces to record their first win at Rotherham since 1957 – in no fewer than 26 attempts – to maintain their perfect start to the season.

Shaun MacDonald could only divert Tyler Walker’s cross into his own net following a quickly-taken free-kick just before the break.

Harry Anderson then got free of his marker to head home Jorge Grant’s 48th-minute corner to seal victory for the well-organised visitors.

The Millers had looked the more likely team to break the deadlock but the goals took the wind out of their sails.

“I think one of our players got blocked from the corner but it probably was too easy,” said Robertson. “We’ve conceded too many set-piece goals already this season, that’s three in two games now. That’s something we need to address and work on as a team.

“We want to be the best in the league at set-pieces and so far it’s not been good enough.”

Rotherham had 17 attempts compared to Lincoln’s three but those statistics did not tell the full story as Paul Warne’s side lacked creativity and fluency in the final third.

“Goals change games,” said Robertson. “If we had scored the first goal I think it would’ve been a completely different game.

“They’ve caught us with a set-piece in the first half, which we weren’t set up for, and it’s changed the course of the game. It knocked the stuffing out of us when it shouldn’t really have.

“It was a frustrating afternoon and disappointing not to get a win at home.

“It’s early days,” he added. “We’ve got a lot of new players, a lot of very good players. The games will come thick and fast and we’ve just got to re-focus for the cup game on Tuesday.

“I think there’s a lot of expectation with the players that the manager has signed.

“Inside the dressing room, we know we’ve got to be up there this season.”

Rotherham go to Shrewsbury in the EFL Cup tomorrow.

Rotherham United: Iversen, Olosunde, Ihiekwe, Robertson, Mattock, Crooks; MacDonald, Barlaser (Wiles 57), Vassell (Proctor 65); Smith (Morris 57), Ladapo. Unused substitutes: Wood, Price, Lindsay, Southern-Cooper.

Lincoln City: Vickers, Eardley, Bolger, Bostwick, Toffolo; O’Connor (Chapman 90), Morrell, Anderson, Payne, Grant (Andrade 71); Walker (Akinde 77). Unused substitutes: Lewis, Adebayo-Smith, Bradley, Grant Smith.

Referee: L Swabey (Devon).