'Yeah, it's nice.' Derby hero Jamie Lindsay's low-key response to becoming part of Rotherham United folklore

'Yeah, it's nice.' Derby hero Jamie Lindsay's low-key response to becoming part of Rotherham United folklore

By Paul Davis | 11/11/2020

'Yeah, it's nice.' Derby hero Jamie Lindsay's low-key response to becoming part of Rotherham United folklore
Jamie Lindsay scores the opener in the Owls derby. Picture by Dave Poucher

“SO, Jamie, how does it feel to become a Rotherham United legend?”

The first question in the press conference after Jamie Lindsay’s two-goal blast in the game that matters more than any other to Millers fans brought a sheepish smile from the midfielder.

The Scot had led the way against Sheffield Wednesday at AESSEAL New York Stadium last week. Man of the match, a non-stop box-to-box presence, the lifeblood of Paul Warne’s side, the death of the Owls.

The instigator of Rotherham’s first home league win over the team from across the Parkway since 1976.

Quickly, he remembered he’s not the kind of character to get carried away by these kind of things and the grin faded.

“I know it sounds boring but the most important thing is the three points,” he said almost apologetically. “First and foremost, it was about winning the game. The three points are massive for us and hopefully we can kick on now.”

‘Yes, but how does it feel to strike twice in the derby?’

A shrug of the shoulders, a flicker of a smile again. “Yeah, nice.”

This was arguably Lindsay’s best performance since moving to the Millers from Ross County in the summer of 2019.

He helped the club win promotion from League One last year and has taken his game to another level in the Championship.

Typical of an unassuming man, he couldn’t remember if he’d ever scored two goals in a match before: “I’m not 100 per cent sure. I did get a few in Scotland. I was disappointed not to score more last season because I kept getting into areas.”

The 25-year-old was everywhere in the first half as Rotherham took a 3-0 lead against the old enemy before playing it safe after the break against the ten-man visitors rather than going for the even bigger scoreline that could have been on offer.

“The second half wasn’t our best but it was all about seeing the game out and getting the three points,” he said. “We’ve played better in other games and got nothing, so it was great to get the three points. Hopefully we can take a bit of confidence from it and build on it.”

Victory and the strength of the squad after nine summer signings had the former Celtic prospect feeling positive as Rotherham look to survive in the second tier for the first time in three attempts in the last five years.

“It would be silly for us to go into a season expecting to be in a relegation battle,” he said. “We want to finish as high as we possibly can. Staying up would be a great achievement, but we don’t want to be thinking that that’s all we want to do.

“We’ve competed really well this season and been in all the games in the last ten, 15 minutes. Even when we haven’t won, we haven’t been far away.”

By the way, spoiler alert: it was the first time he’d scored twice. And what a game to do it in.

Maybe ‘legend’ is too strong a word, maybe not. What is for sure is that if you break Wednesday hearts your name goes down in Millers folklore forever.

Joe McBride, December 1982; Richie Barker, February 2002; Darren Garner, August 2002.

“There was a bit of frustration in the last few games before the derby that we’d not really created many chances,” Lindsay said. “But tonight we scored three goals, had a clean sheet and possibly should have scored a few more.”

Early on, both teams had been led off the pitch because of a drone above the stadium. On their return, the midfield leader was the one flying high as he leapt within a minute of the restart to head Rotherham in front.

“We made it clear in the dressing room we needed to make sure it didn’t affect us and try to start again on the front foot,” he said. “We’d been on the front foot from the start it and it could have killed us.”

I think he meant the break in play figuratively rather than the drone literally.

All the occasion lacked was a blond-haired scorer dashing manically towards a mass of ecstatic supporters. Chased by teammates, Lindsay had run and slid to the corner flag in the bottom right of the West Stand where he deserved to be met by more than deserted Covid-19 terracing.

“The only thing that was missing was the fans,” he said. “The derby’s massive and to be 3-0 up at half-time ...

“It would have been a special night but it’s circumstances we can’t do anything about. We just need to get on with it. But that’s the sadness.”

Dan Barlaser scored from the spot and then, in the 45th minute, it was Lindsay’s turn again.

“I didn’t think twice about the second one,” he said, his face lighting up almost against its will. “It was just confidence. Foot straight through it.”

Game over.

Ben Pringle and Lee Frecklington, August 2013; Matt Derbyshire, March 2016; Jamie Lindsay, October 2020.

‘So, Jamie, how does it feel to become a Rotherham United legend?’

******************

PAUL Warne has won six promotions in his time with Rotherham United and now he is the man who has led the Millers to their first home league success over Sheffield Wednesday in 44 years.

The manager — who has gone up twice as a player, twice as fitness coach and twice as boss — was asked if he ever reflects on his standing at the club he has served for close to 20 years.

This was his response ...

“No, not really. I don’t have many things in the house relating to my time with Rotherham. I don’t keep many things. I am pretty heartless.

“Maybe I will regret that when I am older. I will have all my dad’s scrapbooks that he did on me as a kid growing up through football handed down to me.

“Being a coach is great, being a player is magnificent but being a manager is tough. Maybe in ten years’ time I will look back and think: ‘Cor, we have done well there. I was working with my best mates at my club. It was brilliant.’

“But you never really get an opportunity to sit back and think we are doing well. We didn’t really enjoy the win against Wednesday. We were just thinking about Stoke City three days later and the problems we have got.

“I don’t want to come across as someone who hasn’t got an ego, because obviously I have — I want to do well for me and my family, for my family’s name.

“I am driven to be a success and I have always had a big thing about legacy. I want to  leave this club, whenever that time is, in a better place than when I took over.

“My biggest fear is that I get sacked here. It’s not the actual sacking that scares me, it is the down slope before the sacking that does.

“You work tirelessly and then you have six or seven games where you lose and everyone wants you out. Suddenly, you go from having people’s respect to losing it. That scares me more than anything.

“That fear drives you to not look back at what we have done but to look forward at what we can do. That sounds cheesy, I know, but it is how I feel.”

**********************

AT THE 13TH ATTEMPT

Apr 1977, old Division Three:

Millers 0 Owls 1

 

Mar 1978, old Division Three:

Millers 1 Owls 2

 

Oct 1978, old Division Three:

Millers 0 Owls 1

 

Oct 1979, old Division Three:

Millers 1 Owls 2

 

May 1982, old Division Two:

Millers 2 Owls 2

 

Apr 1983, old Division Two:

Millers 0 Owls 3

 

Sep 2001, old Division One:

Millers 1 Owls 1

 

Jan 2003, old Division One:

Millers 0 Owls 2

 

Mar 2015, Championship:

Millers 2 Owls 3

 

Oct 2015, Championship:

Millers 1 Owls 2

 

Apr 2017, Championship:

Millers 0 Owls 2

 

Feb 2019, Championship:

Millers 2 Owls 2

 

OCT 2020, CHAMPIONSHIP:

MILLERS 3 OWLS 0




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