Crunch time for Rotherham United as Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town face relegation battles

Rotherham United go into a potentially season-defining week feeling like they lost at the weekend, whereas hosts Huddersfield Town took some comfort from an extra point in their fight against relegation.

Huddersfield Town's Juninho Bacuna challenges Millers' Lewis Wing. Picture Tony Johnson
Huddersfield Town's Juninho Bacuna challenges Millers' Lewis Wing. Picture Tony Johnson

The Millers produced what their star player on the day, Lewis Wing, described as one of the best performances he has seen from them but they only had a point to show for it.

Wing and Matt Crooks hit the woodwork and Ben Wiles missed an excellent late chance, producing a 0-0 draw in a game both wanted to win.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sheffield Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers, though, felt terminal for their hopes of staying in the Championship.

Rotherham play QPR (tomorrow), Coventry City (Thursday), Birmingham City (Sunday) and Middlesbrough (next Wednesday) in consecutive home matches. Coventry’s 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth means the Millers are six points from safety with three games in hand, but their position could and should have been much better.

“A point on the board is better than no points but it feels like a defeat because we played so well,” said midfielder Wing, on loan from Middlesbrough.

“I think that was one of the best performances we’ve had since I’ve come to the club. I thought we looked good, we passed the ball and moved. The chances just didn’t drop for us.

“The results went for us and at the end of the day it’s a point on the board and we move on to QPR. I wouldn’t say it’s must-win but it’s important for us.

“I feel disappointed about the Huddersfield result but we’ll go into Tuesday with confidence.”

Both sides at the John Smith’s Stadium were on the back of demoralising defeats – in Rotherham’s case 3-0 at home to bottom-of-the-table Wycombe Wanderers. Wing felt they had at least moved on from that. “With nine games to go we’ve got to play like that and if we do, we shouldn’t have a problem,” he said. “Once the goals start coming I think we’ll have no problems.”

Whilst Crooks’s first-half effort against the base of the post was a bad miss, Wing’s free-kick against the crossbar was good thinking on his part, shooting from around 30 yards when goalkeeper Ryan Schofield was anticipating a cross. With the goalkeeper making saves from him in either half, too, Wing is yet to score for the Millers.

“I thought it was in!” he said of the free-kick. “It’s just my luck at the minute, nothing will go in for me.

“I haven’t scored yet and the longer it goes on, the more frustrated I’m getting but I’m getting in the areas, it’s not like I’m miles away. It feels like just a matter of time.”

Huddersfield gained a point on Derby County but lost ground to Birmingham City, who beat Stoke City.

Duane Holmes was taking the positives from the response to Tuesday’s 7-0 defeat at Norwich City.

“It was very important that we didn’t lose,” he argued.

“We wanted to win the game, but they had the better chances and should have put one away.

“The target is to stay in the division and we will keep pushing until we are mathematically safe. We don’t think the job is done. 

“If you can’t win, you take a point.”

Assistant manager Jamie Smith urged Sheffield Wednesday to stay positive after a hammer blow of a defeat at Loftus Road.

Outstanding in beating Cardiff City 5-0 on Easter Monday, the Owls were unable to follow it up.

The gap to safety remains seven points, but they now only have six matches to do something about it, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Swansea City.

“We have said to the players since we came to the club to be positive and we have seen that throughout the games,” said Smith, again deputising for manager Darren Moore, who is due to return to Middlewood Road today after a bout of Covid-19.

Smith added: “It will be good to have the gaffer back as a presence around the training ground.

“He’s been in regular contact with everyone from the staff to the players, but having him back in person will give everyone a big boost.

“Saturday was a big blow for us but we don’t get too high with the wins and too low with the lows.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.