From a delirious derby win last weekend to a masterful bit of midweek magic under the lights, this past week has been crucial in the Millers’ battle to stay up.
And one man is key, in my opinion, if Neil Warnock’s men are to pull off the great escape.
Lee Frecklington is Mr Rotherham United, and his recent return to the Millers fold has sparked an upturn in form, three wins on the spin and huge self-belief that a very similar group of players who struggled under the two previous regimes can compete at this level.
Neil Warnock is working wonders at the moment, with a bit of Lady Luck along the way - highlighted by Tuesday’s first half against high flyers Middlesbrough. The Millers completed a dramatic turnaround from backs-against-the wall stuff to gradually grinding down their frustrated opponents after the interval.
The evening was topped off by Frecklington’s 88th-minute winner, as he remained ice cool to stroke the ball powerfully home. Personally, that was the most celebrated goal all season due to it’s potential significance ahead of the visit of Derby to the New York Stadium tomorrow - and I do like to celebrate a goal!
In my piece on Monday, I touched on the glum feel of the Reading away defeat. The last three games have been a far cry from that evening, and Warnock’s passion and enthusiasm for the game is now visibly rubbing off on a squad whose confidence was at rock bottom. It’s also no coincidence to me that the return of our best central midfielder, who has that forward drive and determination, and the ability to unlock defences, has lifted spirits on the pitch.
Fortunately, midweek results were favourable for us and, as the manager said himself post match, the hard yards start now, with the gap to MK Dons down to a single point and both Fulham and Bristol City back in the relegation mix.
I’ll leave you with an interesting stat ahead of the weekend’s games, in that six of Rotherham’s 10 league wins have come against the top nine sides in the division.
Let’s hope that bodes well with the fifth-placed Rams in town.