Rotherham United show they have character for the fight

Dan Barlaser believes Rotherham United have the qualities to come through potentially difficult nights like the one Gillingham put them through on Tuesday.

Dan Barlaser celebrates scoring  Rotherham's third goal from the spot. . Picture Bruce Rollinson
Dan Barlaser celebrates scoring Rotherham's third goal from the spot. . Picture Bruce Rollinson

That might seem odd to say after the League One leaders beat their relegation-threatened visitors 5-1, but Steve Evans’s Gills took a fifth-minute lead and made life extremely difficult until two goals late in the first half broke their resistance.

Midfielder Barlaser felt it showed the Millers’ character.

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“When it’s cold nights and the surfaces get a bit bobbly you can’t take as many risks so when teams try and frustrate you it’s really hard and we just have to be patient because the goals will come, especially with them two up front (by which he means any two from Michael Smith, Freddie Ladapo and Will Grigg),” Barlaser said.

“I think we did well with second balls, which we didn’t against Stockport (in Friday’s FA Cup tie), and if you do that you’ve got a really good chance of winning. When it gets a bit scrappy we’re good at that.”

Barlaser scored twice and ought to have had a first senior hat-trick, missing his second penalty and another chance in open play. The problem, he said, was he struck the ball too well.

“He (goalkeeper Aaron Chapman) stood in the middle so if I’d just slotted (the second penalty), it was in but I tried to blast it down the middle because they usually dive and I hit it too hard and it hit the bar,” he said.

“If I’d mishit the half-volley a bit more at the end it probably would have gone in but that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to scoring a hat-trick.”