Mad world as Leam takes risk with no-risk game ... David Rawson's Rotherham United fan column

Level-headed: boss Leam RichardsonLevel-headed: boss Leam Richardson
Level-headed: boss Leam Richardson
​​MADNESS, they say, is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Leam Richardson is not mad. He’s level-headed, sensible, pragmatic. And yet, here we are. The same thing each week. The same result each week. The same imposing, surely impossible to overcome, points gap to safety. Just one fewer game.

Nothing makes sense.

We didn’t want to wait to make a managerial change so that the new guy had the maximum time to make a difference. Then we waited a month.

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We wanted to bring five or six new faces in, to help us, as early as possible in January. We brought in three, on deadline day, who weren’t ready to play a significant part in the first two games they were available for.

We need wins. So we’re wholly focused on defence, on flooding our penalty area and the nearby environment.

This squad isn’t Richardson’s fault. It doesn’t reflect his choice of players; it probably doesn’t reflect how he’d like to play. But he risks taking the blame for it. Because the way we set up offers us, the people who pay to watch, nothing.

Because what’s the philosophy? That we can block and block and eventually the opposition will make a mistake and we can nick a goal and win?

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We’ve rattled and ratted teams that are better than us before. We’ve taken risks. We’ve had a right go. And, of course, we’ve come up short.

But is this better? We’re no closer to winning. We’re losing by, at best, slightly fewer goals. There’s no feeling that, yes, this is bad, but you can see how it gets better.

It matters. At some point, we’re going to ask people to buy season tickets. What’s the sales pitch? Ignore what you’ve seen, there’ll be attacking, front-foot football to watch? We’ll shift from a culture of fearing everyone to unshakeable swaggering confidence in a few short summer weeks? Believe!

But what’s to believe in? We lost against Leeds thanks in part to a handball goal. And yet it’s hard to get angry. Because after a bright start, we’d ceded control of the ball and the game.

Just like against Stoke, against Southampton. With the same result. Madness? Certainly maddening. And, possibly, unsustainable for much longer.