As if a woeful 3-0 Championship home defeat to relegation rivals Wycombe Wanderers was not bad enough, the Millers fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City both also won - and there will be a fair amount of introspection following Rotherham’s fifth successive home defeat.
Manager Paul Warne acknowledged: “Mindset is a massive thing. They will see the results and suddenly if they don’t believe they have got an opportunity to do it, that is difficult. It is difficult picking them up, it is difficult picking myself and my staff up.
“The thing I will drive home thinking about is that we created enough chances to get something and it just was not our day. However, our level of performances this year has been really good.
“This is one of our biggest defeats. It is my job to try to pick up the lads because they will be hurting. The difficulty is that each personality is a little bit different. Some like it one way, some like it another.
“You just try to manage it all in the best possible way. They’ll look forward to the game on Saturday and then it is a really tough week after that.”
In mitigation, Rotherham have handled setbacks before. It is not as if they have not been in similar places previously, a cruel 97th-minute defeat in their final game before Christmas at Blackburn for instance and their response after their first inactive spell following Covid issues in the festive season was admirable.
With the Millers, in Warne’s words, now preparing for a ‘week of death’ by way of four games in eight days, this will be their biggest and season-defining test.
Warne, whose side visit Huddersfield Town on Saturday, added: “We have got really good characters. We have got players who give everything every week.
“It is just unfortunate that a few lads under-performed really (against Wycombe), possibly even myself. That isn’t through choice. It is just how it is.
“If we were to go and win at Huddersfield, suddenly you’re driving home on the bus with a bit of confidence.
“Look, I know how football is. If you win a game, you think you are going to win the next ten. If you lose a game, people think you are going to lose the next ten.
“Neither is really true. If anyone watches the Wycombe game back without emotion, there was not much between the teams.
“It was not like my keeper made seven saves or something. It shouldn’t be hard to pick them up. They will want to right the wrongs, I hope.”
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