Rotherham boss Paul Warne was unhappy at Jose Gomes’ criticism of the Millers “direct” style after the 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at Reading.
Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria gave the hosts a 31st-minute lead at the Madejski Stadium when he guided in his first goal for the club.
But Rotherham’s second-half pressure paid off, with defender Semi Ajayi scoring the equaliser 11 minutes from the end.
Royals boss Gomes said afterwards: “It was a tough and difficult game against opponents who play direct football.
“A lot of time the ball was in the air and that made it difficult to put the ball on the ground and play. When we did it, we created some good actions and goal situations.”
However, Warne said: “I don’t get that. Why is that? That’s a bit harsh, it does my nut in.
“I’m getting tired reading about ‘long ball’ and all that. If we get a chance to throw the ball into the box, we’ll do it. I don’t see what is wrong with that.
“It’s a bit offensive to keep saying that we are long ball.
“If we choose to get into their box in four passes or 24 passes, what’s the difference? We still want the same outcome.
“If you watch us play week to week, I think that you’d give us more respect than that.”
After watching his team draw for the fifth successive Championship contest, Warne continued: “I thought we started the game really well.
“Reading are an excellent team. They had the ball a lot more than we did.
“We tried to high press them but they got out and scored the goal a little bit against the run of play.
“I asked our lads at half-time to have a bit more cutting edge about their play. And I thought that we were the better team in the second half.
“We deserved to get a goal, although it nearly all went the other way at the end and Reading nearly nicked another.
“That would have been a bitter pill to swallow, so I’m pleased with a point. It keeps us in the fight and gives us a nicer journey home.”
Gomes criticised his players for their lack of a killer instinct in the clash of the strugglers.
He said: “The big lesson we learned was that if you are winning 1-0, you must find a way to score a second goal.
“We should have scored that second goal but Rotherham came back to get the draw.
“But after going 1-0 up, we gave Rotherham too much time on the ball.
“When they had the ball, they put in in the box directly. So they had a lot of corners and [long] throw-ins.
“When we controlled the game again, we should have done better in possession.”
The Portuguese continued: “My players fought and tried and showed that they wanted to win this game.
“But I’m not happy, the players are not happy, with this result. We didn’t deserve to just draw, we deserved to win.
“But you must put the ball in the net. It was amazing the clear goal situations that we had.
“Before the game, I said it was a very important game. It was our game of the season.
“Every week we have surprises in this league and I think maybe there will be more teams involved [in the relegation fight].”