Rotherham United: Joe Mattock feels for forwards as Millers leak goals

Izzy Brown
Izzy Brown

Defender Joe Mattock understands the frustration of Rotherham United’s strikers as the Millers look to stop the goals going in at the other end of the pitch.

Alan Stubbs’ men are a point above the Championship relegation places after eight games, having conceded more times than any other side in the division.

Mattock has called on the club’s attackers to maintain their motivation in difficult times.

It’s tough when we keep conceding goals, especially for forwards,” the left-back said. “If they’re scoring, as they are, and then they see us conceding, it’s tough to keep that enthusiasm. But you’ve got to keep digging away.”

Centre-forward Danny Ward is registering at the rate of a goal every other game, while Izzy Brown, playing just behind Ward, has also found the back of the net since his loan switch from Chelsea.

Rotherham, who face bottom club Cardiff City at New York Stadium on Saturday, are unbeaten at home in the league, but have lost all four of their away fixtures, 3-0 at Aston Villa, 3-0 at Brighton, 4-0 at Barnsley and 4-2 at Blackburn Rovers.

Danny Ward

Danny Ward

The form of Brown and Ward has been one of the positive notes so far of season which has seen the Millers’ defence breached 20 times in the second tier.

Teenager Brown scored in the 2-2 draw with Bristol City on September 10, set up a goal for Ton Taylor in the 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest on September 14 and hit a sweet pass to allow Ward to score the opener at Blackburn.

“Izzy is a good player,” Mattock said. “You can see he’s a talented player. Hopefully he can keep his enthusiasm because it must be tough for him. He’s got the ability, Danny Ward has got the ability and (substitute striker) Jerry Yates has got the ability to score us goals.

“We’ve just got to work harder as a team to spot conceding them.

Joe Mattock

Joe Mattock

“The problem is conceding after we have scored. It’s happened in a few games. We get a goal and then we seem to go on the back foot.

“We’ve got to keep working away. The lads are still okay. Our heads aren’t on the ground. It’s still early on in the season. We’re going to keep working on it.”

Mattock has started Rotherham’s last two matches after being dropped to the bench by Stubbs after below-par displays against Villa and Brighton.

“I’m pleased to be back in the side,” the 26-year-old said. “The boss said it was just a kick up the bum, and it was.

I’ve got myself back in the side and I need to start keep improving my performances and make the left-back spot my spot.”

Saturday’s Bluebirds encounter is a crucial clash as Rotherham look to move away from the drop zone, but Stubbs is refusing to countenance any thoughts of relegation.

“I’m not going to talk about that word,” he said. “We’re only eight games into the season.

“First and foremost, we have to make it easier for ourselves than we are doing right now.”

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