RIVAL boss Ian Evatt claims his team would have beaten Rotherham United had they scored before the break in yesterday's League One showdown.
The Millers saw off the challenge of Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at the UniBol Stadium after scoring twice in the opening 21 minutes to climb into a play-off place.
However, Evatt reckons a quick response was all that was needed by the Trotters to go on and claim all three points.
He says Bolton, who had begun the the day in third spot, could have bagged "four or five" goals against Paul Warne's men.
"If we had scored before half-time I do believe we would have gone on to win the game," he said. "We controlled it.
"We could quite easily have scored four or five and that isn’t exaggerating. We just chose the wrong shot, pass or cross. Eoin (Doyle) should have scored and the ball flashed across the goal so many times.
"Their manager said to me that they didn’t mean to sit off in the second half but did it because they couldn’t get near us and their assistant manager said we were the best side they have faced."
Evatt, whose side had put five goals past Ipswich Town the week before, acknowledged that the Millers had given Wanderers their hardest test of the season.
Ben Wiles hammered home a 20-yard stunner in the 18th minute and only three minutes later was on hand at the back post to head in Dan Barlaser's corner.
"When I talk about Rotherham's physicality and set-plays, I don't mean that disrespectfully," Evatt said. "They are a good side and difficult to play against.
"I think we competed, stood up to most things they chucked at us and were then cool and calm in possession. I was just disappointed we didn’t take one of the chances we created because our work on the ball was excellent.
"I said it was going to be the toughest game of the season so far and it was.
"Against Lincoln (1-1 draw in midweek) Rotherham they could easily have scored five or six there. They steamrollered them."
Evatt and Millers assistant boss Richie Barker were booked after an exchange on the touchline towards the end of the game.
The Bolton manager says Rotherham's coaching staff tried to 'hide' the ball under a seat in the away dugout to kill time and that he received a caution for attempting to retrieve it.
"I’m not saying we would do it, but I understand it," he said. "They’re trying to slow the game down. I then feel the need to go and get it (the ball).
"I get yellow-carded for entering their technical area. I don’t know how else we’re going to get the ball back or restart the game. Apparently, I should have just waited for them to chuck it back. It’s frustrating."