Defiant boss Steve Evans has backed his Rotherham United side to fight back from their derby-day anguish to win their battle for Championship survival.
The 3-2 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday saw the gap between the Millers and the drop zone cut to five points with seven games to go.
Evans said: “We’ve been written off before, we’re being written off now. We’ll bounce back.”
The Millers conceded twice in the last five minutes at AESSEAL New Stadium when they looked to have victory in the bag and were about to extend their lead over third-from-bottom Wigan Athletic to eight points.
But they were boosted by the performances of new boys goalkeeper Emi Martinez and right-sided midfielder Lawrie Wilson who both showed up well on their debuts.
“I thought they were excellent,” said Evans, “Our goalkeeper has conceded three goals and he’s been outstanding.
“He’s made us better. Adam (Collin) had dipped. Emi has come in and made us better.
“I thought Lawrie was very industrious. It was a bit of a slog first half but in the second half he came into the game.”
Evans believes his side, leading 2-1 with three minutes of normal time remaining, deserved to win against the Owls who turned the match on its head amind incredible scenes at AESSEAL New York Stadium with two goals in time added on.
“They’ve turned up with balaclavas on and hit us with a couple of baseball bats on the way out,” he said.
“They don’t deserve to win the match. I don’t think any of their staff will come out and say differently.”
Rotherham have a fortnight of training before resuming league action a week on Saturday at Birmingham City, and Evans expects his side to emerge stronger from the international break.
“We have to work on the positives,” he said. “People will hurt after a sledgehammer like that, but then we have to pick them up.”
After playing Birmingham, the Millers are at home to Brighton on Easter Monday.
On the same bank-holiday weekend Wigan are away to Middlesbrough and then at home to Derby County.