Warne backs Freddie to keep firing following Rotherham United draw

Warne backs Freddie to keep firing following Rotherham United draw

By Paul Davis | 02/03/2020

Warne backs Freddie to keep firing following Rotherham United draw
A familiar sight this season as Freddie Ladapo scores

 

MANAGER Paul Warne has given hot-shot Freddie Ladapo a vote of confidence after the Rotherham United striker's slip-up against MK Dons.

The 17-goal hitman looked certain to fire the Millers into a 2-1 lead in the second half at AESSEAL New York Stadium last Saturday but somehow directed his effort wide.

However, Warne preferred to focus on the top scorer's contribution earlier in the contest when he cut in from the left in the tenth minute and drilled home the opening goal of the contest.

"He's allowed to miss one now and again," Warne said. "He got us the goal that got us the point."

Rotherham, who have been beaten only once in their last 15 League One matches, were held to a 1-1 draw and relinquished top spot the following day when Coventry City beat Sunderland 1-0.

Ladapo has forced his way back into the starting line-up at the expense of Kyle Vassell after scoring freely off the bench and has now hit the target five times in his last six appearances.

Of all the leading marksmen in the division only Peterborough United's Ivan Toney can better the Millers attacker's goals-per-minute ratio.

Toney has scored at the rate of a goal every 120 minutes while Ladapo's figure is 128.

"Freddie will be disappointed he hasn't scored," Warne said. "He took his time, tried to pick the bottom corner and hit the outside of the post. You all know how bad a finisher I was as a player. It's not really for me to criticise his finishing."

Rotherham suffered no new injuries against MK Dons and will have Matt Crooks among their ranks when they head to Rochdale on Saturday after the midfielder avoided a tenth yellow card that would have triggered a two-match ban.

The 26-year-old was lucky he didn't go into the notebook when he brought down an MK opponent and Warne said: "Crooksy didn't get booked, although he tried his best!"

Rotherham created plenty of chances against the Dons, with centre-forward Michael Smith failing to add to his 12 goals despite having three inviting headed opportunities, and should have won the game.

Centre-half Michael Ihiekwe said: "There were a lot of good performances out there. "Although lads missed chances, they have scored plenty of goals for us this season so they can't be too harsh on themselves."



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