FOR a club whose on-pitch powers of recovery have been worn as a badge of honour over the past two seasons, a quick turnaround after a cruel derby defeat should present no psychological barrier to Rotherham United.
The Millers head into this afternoon’s encounter with Tranmere on the back of a tough Carabao Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday, with the Owls’ penchant for scoring key stoppage-time goals cruelly resurfacing at the New York Stadium.
After United’s previous home reverse to Lincoln City on August 10, they hit back at the first available juncture in spectacular style with a 4-0 cup victory at Shrewsbury instantly helping to ease the pain of a 2-0 home league reverse to the Red Imps.
Anything resembling a repeat would do nicely today.
Rested after having no mid-week game, Tranmere may head into the game with the benefit of extra preparation time, but manager Paul Warne is not unduly concerned – especially after his side’s display against Wednesday ticked a number of boxes.
The Millers chief, who has added Brentford winger Chiedozie Olosunde to boost his options in the final third, said: “If we had performed poorly against Sheffield Wednesday and lost 1-0, I would have had bigger issues.
I know losing football matches can be a massive drama, but I do not see that.Paul Warne
“I know losing football matches can be a massive drama, but I do not see that. With the way we played and controlled things against an excellent team, I think we can take a lot of heart from that.”
The sight of Wednesday’s ecstatic players and staff celebrating wildly after Atdhe Nuhiu’s ‘96th-minute’ winner may have been a development that Warne would rather not have seen, but he treated it as a bit of a compliment all the same.
That said, with a home match coming up straightaway, today presents a perfect opportunity to enjoy contrasting emotions at the final whistle in front of home fans in double-quick time.
Warne said: “In fairness, they (Owls) brought a good following and went for it and were not holding their subs back and thoroughly enjoyed their win – in the same way we would have done if we had scored a late winner.
“Both teams went for it, but, unfortunately, I was the manager of the team who lost, but that does not deflect from the fact that the lads were great.”
After today’s game, attention for a number of lower-division teams will again focus on the transfer window, which will close for business for League One and League Two clubs at 5pm on Monday, some three-and-a-half weeks after the deadline for their Championship and Premier League counterparts.
Warne is a fan of the new system, more especially as it precludes the need for ‘panic buying’ in his view.
“The transfer window changing has been quite good actually and I have not minded it this year as there has not been such a panic,” he observed.
“It has allowed us to take our time and be possibly a bit more assured on our signings. I am happy with what I have got. It is a small squad, but a competitive one and that is fine.”