Leam Richardson reacts to Rotherham United's away defeat and another red card for Daniel Ayala

Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORDRotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORD
Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORD
ROTHERHAM United head coach Leam Richardson said he expected better from Daniel Ayala as the defender was sent off in a second game running.

Back in the side after a one-match suspension from his dismissal against Swansea City, Ayala picked up a cheap yellow in the 3-2 defeat at Plymouth Argyle and then a second yellow for a deliberate handball early in the second half.

As in the Swansea game, the sending off proved pivotal as the depleted Millers were edged out by the narrowest of margins.

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Richardson said: "Experienced players are still learning but Daniel got caught under the ball and he lost balance but with an experienced player you’d expect a better decision.

Daniel AyalaDaniel Ayala
Daniel Ayala

"We will certainly look at that and speak to Daniel moving forward and go from there."

New team chief Richardson came within an ace of picking up a point in his first away game in charge.

Jamie Lindsay’s first goal of the season had Rotherham in front early on but Finn Azaz struck either side of half time, the first from the penalty spot, to turn the match around.

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Substitute Tom Eaves’ first Rotherham goal in a decade looked like earning the ten men a battling point only for Morgan Whittaker to steal in to score the hosts’ stoppage-time winner.

“We were comfortably in the game and it turned on a penalty,” said Richardson.

"The application, endeavour and work ethic was there for all to see and I think we deserved something.

“We had really good patterns in possession and we were comfortable out of possession. The lads were very disciplined. We have only been here a couple of days but the work we put in showed out on the pitch.”

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Although this third straight defeat leaves Rotherham nine points from the Championship safety line, Richardson now has the luxury of a full week on the training ground to start implementing his ideas before next Saturday’s trip to high-flying Leicester City – the first of four festive matches in ten days.

Richardson added: "I’m learning quickly about the group and I’m sure they’ll learn quickly about me and the staff.

"Refereeing decisions didn’t go our way today but we’ll take a lot of positives.

"We have a number of games left and we need to stick together and be mindful of the challenge and where we are as a group and make sure we grow.”