Rotherham United hoping for a swift change in fortunes

NO club in England has been on the wrong side of fine margins more times this season than Rotherham United.

The second-from-bottom Millers have lost their last five Championship matches by a single-goal margin. All told, they have been beaten in 19 league games by just one goal so far in 2020-21.

There is a good chance it will prove to be the unfortunate story of their campaign, with assistant-manager Richie Barker desperately clinging onto the hope that his side’s luck will change at a critical juncture with three games to go to retain their Championship status.

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It would be long overdue. Rotherham host Blackburn tomorrow and they will be relegated if they lose and Derby County win at Swansea.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne (right) and assistant manager Richie Barker in the dugout.

Barker, whose side have been on the wrong side of huge refereeing calls in recent losses to Barnsley and Middlesbrough, said: “Just if you look in the last month or so, we were 1-0 up (against Middlesbrough) and then there was the sending off of Crooksy (Matt Crooks), which was incorrect in my opinion.

“Viktor (Johansson) was then knocked unconscious with a goal (against Barnsley) which I believe was a foul and then we missed a number of opportunities.

“There was the last-minute miss from Wilesy (Ben Wiles) against Huddersfield and Smudge’s (Michael Smith’s) penalty versus Millwall. It’s pretty much the story of the season.

“You look back to Norwich at the start of the season when we were 1-0 up and there was then a sending off and an own goal and we missed a penalty and gave one away and then lose by one goal.

“On the positive side, it shows that one goal, width of the post or linesman’s decision could quite easily turn the opposite way for the next three games.”

Tomorrow’s game is the Millers’ tenth appointment in a month and they have two further matches to fit in before season’s end tomorrow week.

The one saving grace is that the club’s injury count is not high, although Crooks will again be missing tomorrow due to suspension.

Johansson will be observed today after missing the midweek game at Brentford due to concussion protocol after coming off injured at Oakwell.

Barker added: “We have got a week left and there will hardly be any training and it will be about resting after each game and making sure we are as ready and organised as we can be and trying to pick the freshest team and give it a good go.”

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