Northampton Town v Rotherham United: '˜Not a massive dip,' claims Millers chief Paul Warne

JUST as he did not pop open the Champagne corks during Rotherham United's fine recent run of form, so manager Paul Warne is equally loathe to get down on himself or his team after two successive defeats.

Paul Warne: Taking defeats on the chin.
Paul Warne: Taking defeats on the chin.

Dual losses to MK Dons and Rochdale may have been a surprise to many, but the Millers manager has been around in the game long enough to know that nothing lasts forever.

It is also Warne’s justifiable belief that his side’s superlative efforts from the Christmas build-up to the end of February during the winter slog were always likely to catch up with them mentally at some point.

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Warne, whose fourth-placed side visit Sixfields this afternoon with an eight-point buffer over the side just outside of the play-offs in Plymouth Argyle, said: “The winter months are always harder to play in. I know people will be listening to my voice and thinking: ‘boo hoo’, but it is.

“The pitches are softer and the training ground is softer and you get more tired and once you get through Easter, psychologically as a footballer, you are thinking: ‘come on, keep going.’

“But I also think that because we have been on such a brilliant run and that the majority of games have been played by the same players it has only been in the last couple of weeks where I have seen a noticeable drop in our intensity.

“Rochdale came here and definitely played better than us and I have no excuses there. Collectively, they were really on song and we did not have the spark we had in recent weeks and that happens to every team in every country and I am not surprised at that.

“I was hoping for a bounce-back on Tuesday. I also said to the lads that there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Maybe we thought at 1-0 up on Tuesday, we were going to cruise it and it is not the case. But we did not have enough to get back in the game. But I do not think collectively we have had a massive dip.”

Last six games: Northampton LWLDDD; Rotherham WWWWLL.

Referee: B Toner (Lancashire).

Last time: Northampton 2 Rotherham 1, August 21, 2012; League Two.