Boss Matt Taylor's plan for next week after Rotherham United ship six goals in two games

Matt Taylor doesn't like what he's seeing at West Brom. Picture by Jim BrailsfordMatt Taylor doesn't like what he's seeing at West Brom. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Matt Taylor doesn't like what he's seeing at West Brom. Picture by Jim Brailsford
DEFENSIVE drills will dominate Rotherham United training in the build-up to the festive period as manager Matt Taylor bids to tackle the "softness" that has begun to blight the Millers' rearguard.

The boss has watched his side concede six goals in two Championship matches since they returned from the international break.

They followed up last Saturday 3-1 home loss against Bristol City with a 3-0 defeat yesterday at West Bromwich Albion to slip a place, to 19th, in the table.

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"There is a bit of softness at the moment," Taylor said. "It is absolutely clear that we have to stop that first and foremost before we approach any other aspects of play.

"Everything starts from your backline. That's the biggest platform on a football pitch. It certainly narrows down my focus for the next week."

Taylor dropped captain and centre-half Richard Wood from the squad for the clash at The Hawthorns and went with Cameron Humphreys, Lee Peltier and Wes Harding as his back three.

He described all of the Baggies goals as "hugely preventable".

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"We have got three centre-halves on the pitch and their job is pretty simple," he said. "First things first, be the best defender - and if that is row Z then it's row Z."

Taylor reckoned the sole positive of the Baggies encounter was the return of central defender Grant Hall who was a key factor in Rotherham having one of the division's meanest defences earlier in the campaign.

The 31-year-old came on for Humphreys late in the second half after being sidelined since November 5 first by a hamstring issue and then by a chest infection.

"The only bonus we can take is we got Grant back on the pitch," the manager said. "Before his injury he was a big part of that defensive unit.

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"He has been a good player for us this season so it is important we get him back where he was before his hamstring injury."

The Millers are next in action at home to Stoke City on Boxing Day and then face December 29 and New Year’s Day trips to Huddersfield Town and Millwall respectively.