Matt Taylor's appeal to Rotherham United fans following events at Southampton

MANAGER Matt Taylor is calling on supporters to get behind Rotherham United's Championship survival bid, claiming they are even more crucial to the push for safety than he is.
Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson acknowledges supporters at the end of Rotherham United's 1-1 Championship draw at Southampton. Picture: Jim BrailsfordGoalkeeper Viktor Johansson acknowledges supporters at the end of Rotherham United's 1-1 Championship draw at Southampton. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson acknowledges supporters at the end of Rotherham United's 1-1 Championship draw at Southampton. Picture: Jim Brailsford

The injury-ravaged Millers fought back from a torrid first half at Southampton yesterday to earn a point against former Premier League opposition that has given them a huge shot in the arm going into the two-week international break.

The bumper four-figure away following was magnificent after the break as their team rallied but Taylor and his players had sensed fans' discontent as they fell behind within two minutes and were completely outplayed until the interval following a run of four defeats and a draw in their previous five outings.

“I hope they understand what we're up against and what we're trying to achieve at this level,” said Taylor who kept the club up last season. “I just need them to ‘feel’ the pain we're going through at times. The supporters will play the biggest part - more than me - in getting this team through it.

“As the game went on, you could hear our fans grow in noise and stature. They and the team were as one.”

Substitute Jordan Hugill scored with a stunning long-range volley in the 74th minute to cancel out Stuart Armstrong's early opener for the tenth-placed Saints and midfielder Ollie Rathbone came close to an unlikely winner.

Taylor, who had been forced into a change of shape from 4-3-3 to 5-4-1 after half an hour to stem the flow of the rampant home side, would prefer supporters to vent their anger on him rather than his next-to-bottom side.

“There was a point in the first half where you could hear the away end wavering, and understandably so because we've been down on our luck,” the boss said.

“Any frustration directed at me is no problem. But this group of players need the fans. If the fans lose belief then the players will as well.”

Taylor’s men were given a standing ovation when they headed over to the packed corner of St Mary’s Stadium housing Millers supporters after the final whistle.

Rotherham are next in action on Friday October 20 when they are at home to high-flying Ipswich Town.