Paul Warne hails Jamal Blackman as Rotherham United take fight for safety to last day

Paul Warne hails Jamal Blackman as Rotherham United take fight for safety to last day

By Paul Davis | 01/05/2021

Paul Warne hails Jamal Blackman as Rotherham United take fight for safety to last day
Angus MacDonald goes off injured in the first half after being at fault for Blackburn Rovers' goal. Picture by Dave Poucher

MANAGER Paul Warne paid tribute to goalkeeper Jamal Blackman as Rotherham United kept alive their Championship survival hopes with a home draw against Blackburn Rovers this afternoon.

The Millers levelled four minutes from time at AESSEAL New York Stadium but then needed their goalkeeper to make a vital stop from hot-shot Adam Armstrong in the dying seconds to take a priceless point.

“Jamal pulled off a lot of saves," Warne said. "The one right at the end could turn out to be a key moment in our season."

Third-bottom Rotherham are now only three points behind safety rivals Derby County and have a game in hand: Tuesday's trip to Luton Town.

At one point during the game, they were mathematically relegated but Swansea City's win over the Rams means the  relegation places will now be settled on next Saturday's final day of the campaign.

Armstrong fired Blackburn in front in the first half, following a bad error from Angus MacDonald, and Lewis Wing curled in an 86th-minute free-kick to make sure honours finished even.

Blackman, who twice denied Armstrong during the contest, performed heroics to keep out a Bradley Johnson header that would have made the score 2-0 to the visitors.

The Millers were playing their tenth match in 30 days and Warne said: “I thought we started the game really well but we gifted them a goal.

“I felt the players lacked a little bit of belief but we fought back. After 90 minutes I was happy with the point because if we had lost the game it would have been a hammer-blow.

"I thought we looked jaded. A lot of the players have played so many minutes. Blackburn have talent all over the pitch so it's not a level playing field even without the fatigue.

“The lads kept going. They are determined to maintain their Championship status and we live to fight another day."

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray was unhappy with his team's efforts in front of goal.

He said: “We are frustrated we didn't win by a lot of goals. I felt like it should have been 4-0 at half-time as a minimum and it could have been any number at the end. Late on we were still creating chances.

“The team played all right but didn't take their chances. You can't have those one-on-ones and free headers at the back stick and not take them.

“The percentage of goals scored from the chances we created hasn't been as high as we would have liked.

“You know when you come to Rotherham what you are facing and what you have to see out. You just have to be more clinical and ultimately we missed too many good chances.

“Their goal should have been irrelevant.”

A win for Rotherham at Luton would lift them out of the drop zone on goal difference and hand them the advantage on what promises to be a nerve-jangling last day.

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