A SERIOUS knee injury to Jamie Proctor, another brush with Trevor Kettle and a third league defeat in four added up to a bad Bank Holiday weekend for Rotherham United.
Now, nearly a month into the season, Paul Warne can make changes to his team without a shred of guilt.
The Millers have deserved the benefit of the doubt in the opening matches and suffered some unlucky defeats along the way.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Charlton wasn’t one of them and with a break without a game until Sunday’s trip to Portsmouth, it’s time to take stock and press the refresh button.
A change up front looks certain anyway after the knee injury to Proctor that saw him stretchered off and taken to hospital. But much of Warne’s focus will be on his leaky defence which was picked apart by a Charlton side who, on this evidence, look a solid top-six bet.
He’ll also be casting a close look at his midfield too because it was anonymous this time, failing to get up in support of the forwards. Rotherham didn’t press or enough in what was their worst performance of the season.
The irony is that they still carried a threat. Proctor scuffed at a good chance, Semi Ajayi slapped a free header wide and they failed to capitalise on a two on one in the second half. Rest assured, the Millers won’t draw many blanks this season. The trouble is that at the moment they need to score three times to win football matches.
Stricken Jamie Proctor calls for help after going down in the second half.
When Patrick Baeur got the jump on Ajayi to plant a header past the stranded Richard O’Donnell in the 16th minute, it left the Millers chasing the game against a side with the ability to pick them off.
Organised, tidy on the ball and first to pick up the scraps, Charlton were superior in every department and deserved leaders long before Mr Kettle, the man still remembered in these parts for sending off three Rotherham players and banishing then manager Mick Harford to the stand in a match at Barnsley 12 years ago, grabbed the limelight for the wrong reasons again after the hour mark.
Despite putting his whistle to his mouth, he ignored what replays showed was a clear foul on Proctor and as the striker writhed in agony, the visitors’ best player, Ricky Holmes, skinned Joe Newell and centered for Josh Magennis to head in as the home supporters raged.
Harsh? Without doubt, but no excuse for defeat.
Warne has promised to get this players back at it for the Portsmouth game and with Proctor set to be sidelined, transfer deadline week at the NYS may be a little bit busier than expected.
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