Matt Taylor's Rotherham United career often had two sides but it was the away form which did for him - Stuart Rayner

IN MANY respects there were two sides to Matt Taylor's Rotherham United career. It was his undoing.

However good some of the Millers' home performances were, their dreadfulness away led to his sacking as manager on Monday.

Much as he tried to fob it off as someone else's achievement, Taylor's first season in Championship management was a success, finishing 19th. It was the first time since 2016 the club had consolidated in the second tier.

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He might have been able to do it again this season. It felt less like the four-point gap to safety which caused chairman Tony Stewart to say: "We had to act now to give ourselves the best possible chance of retaining our Championship status," more the manner of the last two away defeats in particular, and the sheer volume this year.

Where it all went wrong for Matt Taylor at Rotherham United (Picture: PA)Where it all went wrong for Matt Taylor at Rotherham United (Picture: PA)
Where it all went wrong for Matt Taylor at Rotherham United (Picture: PA)

There is no way of dressing up two wins and nine draws from 27 away league games which saw 47 goals conceded and 14 scored.

The biggest loss came at Watford on Saturday, 5-0. The previous one, 2-0 at hitherto winless Sheffield Wednesday, was arguably the hardest to take.

And yet to see them draw with Ipswich Town, to watch home wins over Norwich City and Coventry City this season or demolitions of Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion last term was to watch a totally different team.

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With good cause, some fans refer to "clubs like Rotherham" to cock a snook at those who talk them down but you cannot ignore their budgetary restraints in a division where plenty receive Premier League money and others spend as if they are.

But pleading poverty only goes so far.

Taylor broke the Millers' transfer record twice and whilst Christ Tiehi was a success, the more expensive Sam Nombe is not yet.

He was hit badly by injuries, regularly having to scramble around for a fit centre-back partnership.

But it was compounded by the number of free agents he tried to flesh out his squad with. Nobody should have been shocked Sean Morrison, Tyler Blackett, Sam Clucas and Daniel Ayala were unable to stand up to three-game weeks.

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Richard Wood was brutally moved on because at 38 it was unrealistic to ask him to be a regular but Morrison and Grant Hall were given new contracts despite struggling for durability. Hall has started one league game since, Morrison five.

In a very Yorkshire way, Taylor called a spade a spade, yet sometimes his honesty about his players’ deficiencies made you wince.

When he said the Hillsborough defeat made him lose trust in some there was no cause for argument, just to wonder if it was best confined to the dressing room, or his head.

A slightly cold demeanour did not stop him being likeable, a Lancastrian who understood the Yorkshire mentality and bought into the community, showing off his considerable cricketing skills with Penistone.

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Stewart must decide whether to go for another up-and-coming manager with the potential to take his club to another level, or a quick fix to stay at this one.

Like Taylor's Rotherham career, you can see both sides.