Rotherham United: Warne ready to make Millers changes after defensive calamity

Joe Newell
Joe Newell

Manager Paul Warne is threatening to wield the axe after Rotherham United’s three-match winning run came to an end at AFC Wimbledon.

The Millers threw away the chance of a point at Kingsmeadow, suffering a 3-1 defeat as a late defensive horror show let in the home side for two goals in the last 10 minutes.

With key men ready to return from injury and substitute Joe Newell coming on against the Dons to score a superb 71st-minute equaliser, Warne has increased options for Saturday’s League One visit to Oxford United.

“Joe is the only one I can guarantee will definitely play,” the boss said. “Everyone else, we will have a really good look at. There were a couple of jaded bodies out there which we will definitely have to think about changing.”

Warne, who should have midfielder Lee Frecklington and winger Jon Taylor available after back and knee issues respectively, will bide his time before finalising his line-up at the Kassam Stadium, despite describing some of his side’s defending as “a calamity”.

“I do interviews after a game when I am emotional, but I will watch the game back and sometimes a player plays better than I thought,” he said. “I don’t want to get too rash, but it is easier to make a change on the back of a defeat than it is after three wins.”

Lee Frecklington

Lee Frecklington

Lyle Taylor took advantage of hesitation by goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell to give the Dons a first-half lead and the striker, who hadn’t scored since March, added his second when centre-half Richard Wood and left-back Joe Mattock collided with each other. He completed his hat-trick in time added on when Wood’s fresh-air swipe put him through on goal.

Striker Kieffer Moore failed to add to his 10-goal tally as he was watched by Mick McCarthy, manager of parent club Ipswich Town, who could recall the hitman from his Millers loan spell in January.

“I don’t think it was Kieffer’s best performance, but I thought he was a constant aerial threat. I don’t think he lost a header,” said Warne.

“I had a text conversation with Mick and I will probably speak with him again. He texted me earlier to ask if Kieffer was playing. I didn’t tell Kieffer he was coming. I didn’t want to put him off.

Jon Taylor

Jon Taylor

“I know Mick likes hard-working, energetic players. Even if Kieffer didn’t have his best day at the office, you can’t argue with his work ethic. Whether that will be enough for Mick, I don’t know.”

Click here for more Millers news