Manager Paul Warne's salute to Rotherham United's spot-kick kings

Manager Paul Warne's salute to Rotherham United's spot-kick kings

By Paul Davis | 25/01/2022

Manager Paul Warne's salute to Rotherham United's spot-kick kings
Match action as the Millers made it through to the last four. Picture by Dave Poucher

HAPPY manager Paul Warne praised the penalty prowess of his players as Rotherham United took a step nearer a Wembley final with an EFL Trophy shoot-out success over Cambridge United tonight.

The Millers beat their fellow League One side 7-6 on spot-kicks in the quarter-final clash, with every home player who stepped up hitting the target at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson saved Adam May's seventh effort for the visitors to leave his side one match from a date at the national headquarters.

"I don't understand what's happened to football," Warne said. "All the lads can take really good penalties. It never used to be like that. 

"You used to get two strikers who could take them and then it was the idiots. You didn't know if they were going to hit the car-park or the back of the net. 

"The standard was really high from both sides. Shoot-outs are good for fans. They're awful for the lad who misses."

Shane Ferguson, Freddie Ladapo, Mickel Miller, Ben Wiles, Joe Mattock, Jamie Lindsay and Michael Ihiekwe all hit the target for Warne's men.

Wes Harding's first goal of his career had fired Rotherham in front early on in regulation time before a 40th-minute Paul Digby equaliser saw the tie finish 1-1.

"I have mixed emotions about the game," Warne said. "I thought we were really good in the first half and could have been out of sight. 

"The first 20 minutes of the second half, I thought we were in complete control but didn't create enough clear-cut chances. 

"The last 25 minutes, Cambridge were probably the better side without creating anything. They controlled the middle of the park, which didn't please me. 

"I made subs to try to make us better and I don't think they did. I think we might have just edged it overall."

The semi-final draw takes place on Saturday.


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