Rotherham United: “They’re not Real Madrid” says MK Dons man about Millers

Lee Frecklington celebrates with Richie Smallwood
Lee Frecklington celebrates with Richie Smallwood

A worried rival has told Rotherham United they’re “not Real Madrid” as the Millers’ resurgence under Neil Warnock threatens to blow the battle for Championship survival wide open.

Warnock’s team saw off second-placed Middlesbrough 1-0 in midweek to make it three wins in a row while MK Dons, the team closest to them in the table, were being held to a 0-0 draw at Charlton Athletic.

Concerned MK full-back George Baldock admitted: “There were a few moans and groans when we heard the Rotherham result. We’re not going to lie and say we don’t look at other results because we’re human and we do, but we go again.

“They’re not Real Madrid. They’ll slip up eventually and we need to make sure we capitalise.”

A fortnight ago, the third-bottom Millers were six points adrift of the Dons, who occupy 21st spot, but the gap is down just one after a magnificent run which has seen them beat Brentford, derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Boro.

Rotherham entertain fifth-placed Derby County on Saturday while MK travel to Hull City who are fourth and still eyeing automatic promotion.

The Millers’ upturn has coincided with the return of Lee Frecklington after injury. The 30-year-old scored the late goal which saw of Middlesbrough, but in his hour of glory gave the plaudits to midfield partner and former Boro man Richie Smallwood.

“I’ve played with Richie for a lot of years now and I think we complement each other really well,” he said.

“He’s the foil for me to get forward and I enjoy playing with him. In the last few games, we’ve had positive results and everyone is happy with that.

“It’s a nice feeling to be back playing again. I’ve missed a lot of the season and not played as much as I have wanted to. But in the last few games I have got a few assists and goals and I’m pleased to be back.”

Bolton Wanderers and Charlton are below Rotherham in the table, while Fulham and Bristol City are just above MK and also caught up in the fight for safety.

Against Derby, the Millers will be without right-back Frazer Richardson, out for around a fortnight with a hamstring injury, and suspended uility man Greg Halford, but the presence of Warnock, six games into his reign, means the squad are in a positive frame of mind.

“The gaffer deserves a lot of credit,” Frecklington said. “No-one expected these three results and a lot of it is down to him.

“He’s got the lads working hard and believing, and the results are showing that.”

Lee Frecklington scores against Middlesbrough

Lee Frecklington scores against Middlesbrough

MK Dons' George Baldock

MK Dons' George Baldock