The opposition salute to Rotherham United as the Millers prove too strong for Sunderland

RIVAL boss Tony Mowbray tonight praised Rotherham United after they had seen off his play-off-chasing Sunderland side to breathe new life into their Championship survival bid.
Shane Ferguson makes it 2-0 to the Millers. Picture by Dave PoucherShane Ferguson makes it 2-0 to the Millers. Picture by Dave Poucher
Shane Ferguson makes it 2-0 to the Millers. Picture by Dave Poucher

The Millers were more than a match for the fifth-placed Black Cats at a raucous AESSEAL New York Stadium and took a 2-0 lead before surviving late pressure once the visitors had reduced the deficit.

"You've got to give Rotherham some credit for their intensity," Mowbray said. "We weren't at the level we normally play at and that was down to them.

"They make it really difficult. They are very good off the ball. If you want to be a top team you have to overcome that and the first half wasn't good enough.

"It was a really, really tough game."

The Millers led through Ollie Rathbone and Shane Ferguson goals and then defended strongly to secure a 2-1 triumph once Joe Gelhardt had hit the target for Sunderland.

Victory lifted Matt Taylor's men a place up the table to 20th and increased the gap between them and the relegation spots to five points.

The Millers manager spoke of the lift the result had given his squad after successive losses to Reading and Coventry City had stalled their momentum.

"We started the game well," he said. "We needed Ollie's goal to go in to settle down our attacking. That was the best we have been in an attacking sense for  while.

"The second half was about having to see out some moments from some very good opposition. I am delighted we have done that.

"Every win is important. I can't keep being a manager who is pleased with a performance but doesn't pick up any points. It is a big three points."