Matt Taylor on battle he faces instilling belief in Rotherham United squad
That’s the message from manager Matt Taylor after two alarmingly sub-standard performances saw their recent upturn in form brought to an abrupt halt.
Cardiff, who come to the Aesseal New York Stadium this Saturday, sit in between Rotherham and the bottom three, two points adrift of the Millers.
Taylor felt too many of Rotherham’s players produced ‘flat performances’ on Tuesday night and admitted they lacked belief.
It means they all need to work together to lift spirits for Saturday’s game.
"As a manager it’s your responsibility but they’ve got to do a little bit of it themselves,” said Taylor.
"There’s a personal aspect to football that probably goes unnoticed, the way you set your team up, I just felt the way players played tonight it looked like a lack of confidence tonight, a lack of real aggression with what’s in front of them.
"That stemmed from some of the performances and the way the game panned out at the weekend, but you can’t control what’s come and gone. You can control what’s next.
"We want the ball in the dangerous areas of the box but if you don’t believe in yourself what chance do you have?”
Taylor also revealed a frustration at how his team are being man-handled in recent games.
"We can’t keep giving goals away like we have the last two games,” he said.
"It was a soft-centred moment on both occasions, which is not something that has been levelled against us in previous games.
"Our centre forward (Jordan Hugill) has two or three bodies hanging off him at every single moment he has the ball.
"So how their centre forward (Ched Evans) gets to control the ball, take longer than a couple of seconds to then pick his spot is beyond me.
"It’s happened, it’s my responsibility and I’ll be making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Rotherham could have playmaker Ollie Rathbone available on Saturday after missing the last three games, while defender Bailey Wright is linking up with Australia and Georgie Kelly could also come back in.
"There’s hope, but a minimal amount,” Taylor said of Rathbone. “If we play him this weekend it will be a huge risk, but we need him, but also a couple of others in some form or another.
"Georgie Kelly has fluid on his calf which shows there’s an issue but no strain or tear. Do we risk him and risk losing him for the rest of the season? But we missed his impact.
"He’s got a chance for the weekend as long as that fluid subsides. Hopefully not involving him gives him a chance going into the weekend.
“There’s injuries and then there’s mental soreness.
"Physically we can’t use that as an excuse, but one thing we can’t be is mentally unsure of what we’re trying to do, which I felt we were a bit to often in that first half against Preston.”