Matt Taylor's Rotherham United take confidence from Sunderland victory but hopefully not an important defensive injury

Matt Taylor frown got a little smaller and Rotherham United's confidence grew on the back of an important and well-earned 2-1 victory over Sunderland.

Now they must just hope it did not come at a cost, with Grant Hall suffering another hamstring problem.

It was the only blot on an uplifting night at the New York Stadium.

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"We take confidence from the result and the league table looks a bit better on the back of the last couple of results," said manager Taylor.

CONFIDENCE: Rotherham United manager Matt TaylorCONFIDENCE: Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor
CONFIDENCE: Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor

"It's the feel of football. Incredible performance-wise against Reading and we played pretty well in the first half against Coventry but we didn't pick any points up.

"All of a sudden the pressure builds, the frown gets bigger on the forehead, the weight of your head is a little bit heavier than previously.

"We started the game well but we needed Ollie (Rathbone)'s goal to settle our attacking play down. I thought that was the best we've been in an attacking sense.

"There was more space out on that pitch.

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"Second half was having to see out moments against a very good opposition. I've delighted we've done that.

"In terms of where the group was feeling and the expectation within the fanbase and the outside world, we know other teams are picking up in terms of their form.

"Performance-wise I've been relatively pleased but I can't keep being a manager who says he's pleased with the performance but not picking up any points.

"It was a big three points and it's very much onto the next."

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Rathbone's precise first-half strike was followed by another from Shane Ferguson after the break and although Joe Gelhardt pulled one back with his first Sunderland goal after the hour, Rotherham held out, and hit a post late on through Conor Washington.

Now they must just hope the injury which took Hall off at half-time is not too serious and that they caught Lee Peltier's muscle issue in time.

"Pelts moving from right-back to right-sided centre-hlaf, he didn't want to come off, he probably wanted to rip my head off when he came off but with his hamstring where he was and the fact we had no substitutions left, we couldn't risk him staying on the pitch for a future injury or not making the end of the game," said Taylor.

"Since he came back from injury in the middle of January he's been a mainstay of that defensive unit and structure-wise, defensively, we've been very good.

"His character is something we want to keep encouraging."

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Sunderland manager explained his side's off-colour performance partly in terms of how well the Millers performed after back-to-back defeats.

"We left disappointed. I think we've got to give them some credit for the intensity they played at," said the Teessider.

"The intensity they play at is difficult to play against.

"They're a team who play against the ball very well.

"Rotherham can make a football match if every game because they work really hard against the ball.

"Every time I've brought a Blackburn Rovers team here it's been a really tough game and tonight was."