Leam Richardson blasts 'lacklustre' Rotherham United performance as 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle confirms relegation

Leam Richardson took the blame as Rotherham United were relegated to League One but highlighted how disappointed he was with his players.

A 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle confirmed what Richardson and pretty much everyone else knew would happen for a long time – they will be playing in the third tier next season.

Richardson felt the manner of the defeat, secured by Bali Mumba's 32nd-minute goal, summed up his team's season, which has seen them pick up 23 points from 41 games.

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"(It's) probably very similar emotions that I've had since I've been in building in knowing the challenges and issues we need to address," said Richardson, who took over a team bottom of the Championship in December and has been unable to turn their fortunes around.

"The performance probably typified the whole season, a bit lacklustre and a bit lacking in quality and desire.

"I'm a big believer that your habits catch up to your performance. Our habits from pre-season, into the first game of the season have caught up to our performances over 41 games in the Championship.

"It was a poor game, very poor. I thought they deserved to win, they had that little bit of quality and were a little bit better in both boxes.

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CRITICAL: Rotherham United coach Leam RichardsonCRITICAL: Rotherham United coach Leam Richardson
CRITICAL: Rotherham United coach Leam Richardson

"You'd like to think at home on Sky under the lights we'd be a better version of ourselves, especially (in the) first half."

The New York Stadium booed Rotherham off at the end of each half, and Richardson claimed: "I was nearly joining them.

"There's five games in the Championship left, if lads want to make themselves available, wear the badge and certainly perform better than tonight...

"It wasn't a matter of if, it was when. It's not one game, it's not the Plymouth game, it's the 41 games.

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"I'm a big believer in habits and they'll always shine through, whether they're good or bad.

"That hurts me because it doesn't represent me.

"I'm totally in it, I'm not hiding away from anything, I'm at the front of it, I take the full blame but that doesn't represent me at the minute.

"Hopefully we get a hard-working environment and culture that represents me and the football club."

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