Rotherham United 0 Fulham 1: Relegation is my fault, accepts Paul Warne

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne
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Rotherham interim boss Paul Warne says he is to blame for the club’s relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.

The Millers’ drop to League One, which has been on the cards for several months, was confirmed after Sone Aluko’s goal ensured they were beaten 1-0 by Fulham - their 30th loss of a harrowing season that saw managers Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett depart before Christmas.

Warne inherited a tough situation with a squad clearly lacking quality to compete in the second tier, and was unable to arrest the slide as they became the first club in the country to be relegated.

Despite the drop into the third tier, Warne remains a contender to take the job on a permanent basis and an announcement could come as soon as next week.

“There’s a little bit of embarrassment. I took the reins a few months ago and I haven’t been good enough to get the results to keep us up and that is on my head,” Warne said.

“The performances have been okay at times but we haven’t got that strength in depth. But that’s my fault, it’s not anyone else’s.

“I don’t think anyone thought before today that we would stay up, we weren’t going to win eight on the spin. So to have relegated next to our name isn’t too much of a shock.

“Other people have inherited similar situations and done better, I am the one who takes it home and doesn’t sleep. I take that blame.

“In my eyes I have done the best that I could but other people might disagree.”

For Fulham, their prospects of leaving the division at the other end were enhanced as they finally moved into the top six.

In their last two games the Cottagers have missed the opportunity to take advantage of Sheffield Wednesday dropping points.

They had the perfect incentive on Saturday as the Owls were held to a late draw at Barnsley in the lunchtime kick-off, and this time there was no mistake as Aluko’s close-range finish in the 66th minute was enough for the three points which takes them into the play-off spots.

Boss Slavisa Jokanovic said: “It is a great step for us towards where we want to be.

“It was a very tough game. I am pleased because I have missed some 1-0 wins, so to get the goal and then finish with a clean sheet is pleasing and it is important news for us.

“We tried to be focused on our job and thinking about what we can do.

“We weren’t thinking about Sheffield Wednesday or about other teams. Our focus is on us in this crucial part of the competition and getting as many points as is possible for us.”

Rotherham: Price, Vaulks, Ajayi, Belaid, Fisher, Taylor, Smallwood, Frecklington, Newell, Ward, Morris. Subs: Kelly, Wood, Forde, O’Donnell, Bray, Purrington, Yates.

Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas, Madl, Malone, McDonald, Johansen, Aluko, Cairney, Kebano, Martin. Subs: Bettinelli, Cyriac, Ayite, Ream, Sigurdsson, Sessegnon, Petsos.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)