How Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor helped Rotherham United make derby history

MATT Taylor invoked the spirit of 1980 to spark Rotherham United's famous derby-day triumph over Sheffield United this evening.
The Millers win at the LaneThe Millers win at the Lane
The Millers win at the Lane

MATT Taylor invoked the spirit of 1980 to inspire Rotherham United's famous derby-day triumph over Sheffield United this evening.

The manager spoke of his pride at becoming the first Rotherham United manager to win at Bramall Lane in 42 years.

Taylor succeeded where George Kerr, Billy McEwan, Ronnie Moore, Steve Evans and Paul Warne all failed by overseeing victory in S2 thanks to Ben Wiles’ first-half goal.

Wiles struck eight minutes before the break as the Millers, who were missing six first-team players due to injury, recorded a famous victory.

Forty-year-old Taylor, who took over from Warne last month, said: “We knew it before the game ... I talked to the players about 1980 being a long time ago and what it would be like for the fans to witness a win. I wasn’t even born in 1980!

“I used myself as an example because I am a Manchester United fan and the games I remember growing up are United-City, United-Liverpool, United-Leeds, the ones with a bit more spice about them.

“Local derbies mean more to the fans and that certainly meant more tonight."

Victory came after bad luck in two recent away matches when Rotherham conceded a last-gasp equaliser to draw at Coventry City and were beaten at Burnley by a 100th-minute goal.

“It means so much to the players because they have taken a few blows in the last few weeks and that is never nice,” Taylor said.

The Millers are making a real fist of staying in the Championship this year having yo-yoed between the second and third tier in recent years and Taylor wants this victory to give belief to his squad.

“Everyone is working so hard," he said. "It is a difficult league and we have not got what we deserved.

“If this last ten days have shown anything it is that we can compete."

The Blades could have gone top with victory against a side they usually beat on their own ground.

However, they were a shadow of the team that blew away promotion rivals Burnley away on Saturday.

Boss Paul Heckingbottom said: "From the first moment we didn’t play with the same pace and energy that we normally do.

"When you have got a team that is feeling like that, conceding the first goal is the last thing you want to happen. We just fell below our levels."