Rotherham United v Birmingham City - Millers target three more wins

A WELL-READ individual, Rotherham United manager Paul Warne may well have noted the famous quotation of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Namely that ‘a leader is a dealer in hope.’

In the immediate aftermath of the Millers’ psychologically damaging home loss to relegation rivals Coventry on Thursday, there was not too much of that around – and results elsewhere today could represent a further blow if they go against Warne’s side.

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But for all the disappointment of Coventry, 21 points are still on offer for Millers, even accounting for their parlous position.

Determined: Paul Warne.

Rotherham are a side who will go to the end. Witness their dramatic last-gasp win at Hillsborough last month and their reaction to adversity against QPR on Tuesday evening.

Warne said: “It is still doable. I did not leave all depressed and down in the dumps (on Thursday). I did not go home happy, quite obviously, but we still have an opportunity.

“A bit of my fear was that if we won and got out of the bottom three – and I have seen it happen lots of time – the lads come in Sunday thinking:’we’ve done it’ and then we come lose and everyone else wins and you are back in it. Psychologically, it’s hard to (then) get yourselves out of it. The lads know they are in a real scrap and, hopefully, their character will shine through.

“We have collected around the same points when we were last in the Championship and I think 46 might have kept you up (in 2018-19). But I think it will be more this year and we are still three wins away. As the fixtures look, you might win at Cardiff and at home to Blackburn, whereas the fanbase may think: ‘well, you should beat Wycombe and Coventry’.

“But that is not how football is, everyone has got a chance against every team. But it does not detract from the fact that losing to Coventry is extremely disappointing and I am not wrapping it up any other way.”

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Millers fans of late with the frustration of last weekend’s draw at Huddersfield – a game United should have won – and Thursday’s bitter blow contrasting with Tuesday’s elation.

Warne added: “I appreciate if I was a fan of Rotherham and watched it (on Thursday), I’d be hugely disappointed and let down that we weren’t great.

“Unfortunately, that is the ‘nature of the beast’ we are in this week and, hopefully, we can perform at a level on Sunday which makes everyone feel good about the team again.”

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