Why Conor Washington wants some friction in the Rotherham United camp

Conor Washington scores at Ipswich. Picture by Jim BrailsfordConor Washington scores at Ipswich. Picture by Jim Brailsford
Conor Washington scores at Ipswich. Picture by Jim Brailsford
HE’S one of the most decent men in football yet Conor Washington is spoiling for a bit of trouble.

Rotherham United need to be nastier with each other if they’re to keep their place in the Championship this season, he reckons.

So he has no problem if tempers flare in the dressing room from time to time between now and the end of the campaign in May.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This is genuinely one of the best groups I’ve been involved in, but I think maybe there needs to be a bit more digging out,” he said.

“You don’t know how people will react with things like that. However, something has got to change, and very quickly, before we get dragged into a position we don’t want to be.”

The striker was big enough to face the media in the aftermath of Rotherham’s FA Cup exit at Ipswich Town last Saturday.

A heavy defeat against pace-setters from the division below had done nothing to lift the mood among a group of players who haven’t tasted victory under new boss Matt Taylor since the derby win at Sheffield United more than two months ago.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Normally, Washington is amiable, engaging company, but this time his pain and frustration were evident as he discussed the way to recover the feel-good factor that was running through the Millers camp before the World Cup break when midtable consolidation looked more likely than a slip towards the bottom three.

“Winning games, scoring goals, keeping clean sheets,” he said.  “We have seen it today: Ipswich are a team high on confidence and when things are going well for you everything seems to click.

“We are not just there at the minute. It’s a transitional period and we have also got injuries.

“We spoke about it in the changing room: we have got to take accountability and personal pride in our own performances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“At the end of the day, they have just not been good enough. We’ve got to address that.”

Rotherham return to league action at home to Blackburn Rovers in Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off a place and a point above the relegation zone.

Following the loss to the Tractor Boys, Taylor denied he wants to change much of the Millers’ old pressing style in favour of a new passing one.

But that seemed at odds with the view of Washington whose turn to be interviewed came a few minutes later.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In the early period of when the manager took over we were successful and getting results,” the 30-year-old said. “Then, for whatever reason, we have come away from that.

“Maybe we have become so obsessed with the in-possession stuff and trying to score and be a more established team in the Championship rather than playing counter-attacking football.”

The centre-forward, who claimed his fifth goal of the campaign by scoring from the penalty spot in East Anglia, has no doubts that Rotherham can regain their form and save their season.

“Definitely we can,” he said. “Listen, it is a relentless league, which is a good thing and a bad thing when you’re down there.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s tough because it is game after game and it feels like it is body blow after body blow. But every few days there is a chance to put it right and we get the chance to get three points that could turn the season around.

“We’re not that different a team from when we were eighth in the Championship. It is in there, it’s just a case of getting it out there on a consistent basis. We will be resolute in everything we do.”

Fighting talk.


ROTHERHAM United’s players are united behind new boss Matt Taylor, Conor Washington insists.

Results have dipped alarmingly in the last month but the attacker says the squad have full faith in their manager who took the hot-seat in October.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Nobody is throwing their arms up and not running and not playing for the manager,” Washington said. “It is not a case of that. You’d be able to see it if it was.

“Usually the manager gets sacked within 24 hours of that, but we are not just seeing that in games. We are not seeing it in training either.

“It’s a case of us trying to understand what he wants. In matches, if you are not quite sure it gets exposed brutally, especially at the level we are playing at.

“We have just got to work hard on the training pitch. Everyone in there is on the same page. There are no little cliques going on.”