PAUL Warne believes the magnitude of Rotherham United's survival clash with Wycombe Wanderers affected some of his players at AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon.
The third-bottom Millers slipped to a shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of the division's basement side as their hopes of staying in the Championship suffered a crushing blow.
They are now six points from safety with ten games of their packed run-in to go.
“I think the occasion took control of some of the lads' performances," the manager said. "In a weird way, I think the lads wanted to win too much.
“I knew it was a big game. But I didn't want the lads to go into it thinking it was a 'must win'. After Wycombe scored, everything was a bit rushed and there was no tempo to the game. It never got any flow."
Gareth Ainsworth's visitors scored in the second minute and again in the 24th before wrapping up proceedings with an 83rd-minute third.
The Millers fashioned several first-half opportunities and their failure to take them has left them with a mountain to climb.
“It is difficult picking the players up," Warne said. "But we created enough chances to get something. It is my job to try to pick them up. The difficulty is that every personality is a little bit different.
“I knew this was going to be a really tough game. The first goal had a massive swing in the psyche of both sets of players.”
Chairboys boss Ainsworth said: “After all we have been through, after everyone writing us off, the injuries and decisions going against us, Wycombe are still in the survival race and I couldn't be prouder.
“I thought we defended really well except for the first 20 minutes. Rotherham could have had two or three goals. They had some real good chances and we were lucky they didn't have their shooting boots on.
“After that I thought their chances were few and far between. They were either half-chances or blocked or just from range.
“Our clinical finishing was the difference in that first half. When we got chances, we stuck them in.
"Rotherham are physical, big and direct."