Matt Taylor on why Rotherham United must continue to smile in the face of Championship adversity

WEAK in terms of numbers they may have been all this season, but few can say that Rotherham United do not have a strong jaw.

Setbacks have arrived in 2023-24 – with more likely to come between now and May 4 for Matt Taylor’s side – yet the Millers have, by and large, rolled with the punches.

Bruising episodes have arrived at Stoke City, twice, Huddersfield Town, Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday, with defeat in the latter fixture at the end of October leaving the Millers in a ‘dark place’ according to their manager.

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Equally, the Millers' mettle has been shown against the likes of Norwich City, Southampton and – to a lesser extent – Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Getty Images.Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Getty Images.
Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor. Picture: Getty Images.

After going behind to a fellow struggler and direct rival – on the back of a loss to another side in the drop zone in Wednesday – the Millers’ mentality was seriously under the microscope on Saturday.

While they did not win the game, substitute Georgie Kelly’s leveller in the 1-1 draw with Rangers was a psychologically important moment in their campaign.

On the importance of Rotherham – who last night faced Ipswich Town in the Championship in their re-arranged game – not feeling sorry for themselves, Taylor remarked: “We have (not to). We embrace it and enjoy it. That's Rotherham United and 'no problem'.

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“I cannot question the character, apart from the Sheffield Wednesday game.

“I cannot hide away from that fact when I thought their character aspect went to a dark place where it did not need to go to.

“So we learnt a little bit about ourselves and others on that day.

“We have to hold our hands up in relation to that. But in the face of adversity for the majority of the rest of the season, we have been pretty strong and none moreso than coming back from a goal down at the weekend.

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“Because we know what that may have led to in terms of the feeling around the place and two defeats on the bounce against teams below us in the league table.

“That was a big moment to stand up and be counted and they have to keep taking heart from these moments which go onto what's next,” he added.