By the time Rotherham United’s players report back for duty, manager Paul Warne hopes the disappointment of Tuesday night will have turned into a positive.
Rotherham saw three points ripped from their grasp when Luke Freeman stooped to head an equaliser for Queens Park Rangers in the first minute of stoppage time, denying the Millers a fifth win of the Championship season and extending their sequence of draws to eight from their last 10 matches.
How late the goal arrived made an otherwise creditable draw feel like a defeat, with even Warne admitting that he could have stomached conceding in the 75th minute.
But with thoughts turning towards another challenging opponent in leaders Norwich City on Saturday, Warne hopes the pride in taking an in-form team all the way is the prevailing memory from Tuesday night.
“We’ll pick them up Thursday and give them a bit of love and get them right for another big game on Saturday,” said Warne, who celebrates two years in charge today.
“Everyone’s a bit low because three points are difficult to come across, especially for us, but when we look back on it, QPR at home when we haven’t played that well, then 2-2 could be a good point at the end of the season.
“We’ll show the highlights on Thursday and try and learn from the game. The lads are resilient and mentally strong.”
One area that will be in sharp focus is how Rotherham retreated in the latter stages of the second half, allowing QPR onto them.
That, for Will Vaulks, was the most frustrating aspect.
Vaulks had given Rotherham the lead with a controlled finish and Clark Robertson restored their advantage shortly after Nahki Wells had equalised.
We’ll show the highlights on Thursday and try and learn from the game. The lads are resilient and mentally strong.Rotherham manager, Paul Warne
“On reflection, they probably deserved to get a goal late on but we have to kill teams off a bit better than we have been doing,” said Vaulks, who also thought he had scored a goal in a win against Bolton last month only for Wanderers to grab an equaliser.
“We shouldn’t drop so deep and allow them to have attacks like we did. We need to kill teams off instead of inviting them onto us.
“It’s just small margins at the moment and it’s hard to get a win in this league. We’re doing all right, but moments like Tuesday night are just very annoying.”