Unlucky Rotherham United defeat just a 'blip' says Matt Crooks
On a difficult night when Arctic conditions prevailed in a snow blizzard in the final quarter and some strong Millers penalty shouts were rebuffed by referee Geoff Eltringham, Paul Warne’s side came out on the wrong side of the scoreline, but Crooks believes there is no cause for alarm.
Seyi Ojo gave the Bluebirds a flattering interval lead in a half that the hosts dominated before Crooks levelled just after the hour mark, only for Joe Bennett to grab a late winner.
Crooks, whose strike took his tally to four goals already in 2021 for the Millers, who have lost just twice in seven league matches in the new year, said: “We definitely felt we deserved something from the game.
“The last twenty minutes was crazy because of the weather and the pitch and everything and we probably switched off a little bit.
“We have still got to take confidence from the performance. We weren’t at our best in the second half, but were still causing them problems in the first half and even in the second half after we scored.
“We have been on a good run. Hopefully it is a little blip and we have got to recover now and go again on Saturday.
“We have shown we can come back from defeats. We lost to Swansea at home and came back and won. Hopefully, it is just a small blip and the good run continues.
“We had so many chances in the first half and a few penalty shouts which I think are clear-cut. Then, there was one at the end.
“To be fair, I was slaughtering the referee, but Will (Vaulks) said, hand on heart, it was not a handball. He is a nice lad, so I will trust him.
“The referee has a hard job to do and conditions aren’t great. It is a tough job, but there are big moments in games and when you are down there, you need those decisions and moments to be made correctly.
“We have had a few this season which have not been.”
The decisive moment amid a snow-hit finale came when Bennett headed home and Crooks admits that it was an arduous finish to the game amid worsening conditions.
He added: “Before the yellow balls came out, you could not see the ball for two or three minutes. We had to tell the referee.
“The yellow balls were like ‘fly-aways’ and the onslaught of the snow was a bit brutal. But there are no excuses to be made.”