Praise for Sam Clucas as Leam Richardson reacts to Rotherham United's draw with Sunderland

ROTHERHAM United boss Leam Richardson saluted the impact of Sam Clucas whose scoring exploits earned his side a Championship a point against play-off-chasing opposition tonight.

The 33-year-old started the contest with Sunderland at AESSEAL New York Stadium only because fellow midfielder Ollie Rathbone was ruled out by illness.

The former Premier League player responded by firing in a wonder-volley from 20 yards to put the Millers in front three minutes after the interval before the Black Cats grabbed a deflected equaliser through Jack Clarke in a 1-1 draw.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Head coach Richardson said: “The goal was worthy of winning any game. Sam's performance deserved that goal as well.

Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United head coach Leam Richardson. Picture: Jim Brailsford

“He and Christ (Tiehi) were asked to do many jobs in midfield and they did them very well.”

The result came three days after Rotherham had beaten Middlesbrough at New York. They remain rooted to the foot of the table but signs of improvement since the December 11 appointment of Richardson are evident.

“Credit again goes to the players,” he said. “I thought we were worthy of a positive outcome. Certainly in the first half we were in the ascendancy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think the level of effort and commitment was there. We probably played better than we did in the previous game.”

Sunderland head coach Michael Beale acknowledged the qualities in the Millers' display, saying: “They were right up for it. They were winning their duels.”

Of his own team's performance he said: “We had to have a real honest conversation at half-time because we did not really execute our game-plan. In the first half we were slow getting started.

“Other teams have come here and found it difficult, not just ourselves. We started the second half in the worst possible way, but I was really pleased with our reaction.

“I want us to be less fussy and more spiteful in the final third. There has to be an end product to our possession.”