'We could have won it' ... Paul Warne reflects on Rotherham United's comeback draw against Fleetwood Town

'We could have won it' ... Paul Warne reflects on Rotherham United's comeback draw against Fleetwood Town

By Paul Davis | 21/12/2019

'We could have won it' ... Paul Warne reflects on Rotherham United's comeback draw against Fleetwood Town
Paul Warne and Joey Barton at today's game. Picture by Dave Poucher

BOSS Paul Warne believed his patched-up Rotherham United side would go on to clinch a famous victory as they fought back against Fleetwood Town in their League One clash at AESSEAL New York Stadium today.

The Millers trailed 1-0 at the break after a dire first-half display but looked a different side as they recovered to 2-2 through Freddie Ladapo and Matt Crooks and were chasing a winner in the dying stages.

"We wanted to make the fans happy in the second half," Warne said. "I was really pleased when we got back into it.

"I thought we would go on and win it. It felt like it might be one of those great days at New York.​ I thought we might nick it but it wasn't to be.​

Rotherham were depleted by injuries and illnesses which sidelined more than half a dozen first-team contenders and left other players turning out when they weren't fully fit.​

"We had to jiggle the side quite a lot but, that aside, we didn't really play well enough in the first half," Warne said. "It looked lack-lustre, which was disappointing.​"

Ladapo headed Rotherham level in the 62nd minute but the Millers were behind again seconds later when goalkeeper Dan Iversen failed to deal with Matt Olosunde's back-header, allowing Ched Evans to force home his second goal.

Crooks rescued a point in the 80th minute and Carlton Morris missed a 90th-minute chance to take all three.

"Fleetwood's second goal is a calamity really," said Warne. "That is the nicest way to put it.

"We didn't need that misfortune. But, in fairness to the lads' character, we came back into it again.​

"At half-time I asked them to do things a bit differently, to play with a bit more speed and to get crosses into the box. If you do that, you get chances.​

"I didn't think we moved the ball quickly enough in the first half and we allowed Fleetwood to get their shape.​ We are at our best when we play forward."

Town boss Joey Barton said: “We knew we would have to attack. We could not come here and try to contain because Rotherham have got some firepower.​

“I thought we were superb. The first half was as good as we have played away from home in my time here.​"