Chris reviews the 2-2 draw at Rotherham
Chris Powell was very disappointed that his Town side didn’t come away from Rotherham United with all three points on Boxing Day.
Town took a seemingly commanding 2-0 lead going into the final minutes of the game at the New York Stadium, only for a quick-fire brace to ensure a share of the spoils.
After the final whistle, Chris commented:
“It feels like a defeat, really. Our supporters came in numbers and were getting exactly what they wanted after an hour. It was a local derby and we showed up.
“There was a lot to like and it was a performance that we needed to see out. We saw a side that managed to soak up pressure at times, but also break with real pace and quality. We should have got the third goal to kill the game off, but after 88 minutes we were in complete control. We’d put ourselves in that position through our good play.”
Chris changed the shape to accommodate two strikers and Harry Bunn in an advanced midfield position, as he explained:
“We worked on what we wanted to do on Christmas Eve, but we lost ‘Hoggy’ (Jonathan Hogg) to illness. You always get things like this over Chrismas, which is why we do the preparation with every single player.
“We went with a 3-5-2, but with Harry Bunn in an advanced position ahead of Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield. He’s a front-foot player and he picked up some really good positions; he wants to get the ball and drive at goal. We told him to be hard to mark and I think, at times, he was.
“That allowed us to play with two up top as James Vaughan made his first start. We knew he wouldn’t last, but he gave us a really good 70 minutes and set us up.”
On goal-scorer Vaughan, who netted his first goal since 30 November 2013 to put Town ahead, Powell commented:
“Strikers all want to score, because regardless of all the other work they do they are always judged upon how many goals they get. It’s good for him, because it’s been a while after a tough 2014 for him.”
However, a disastrous five minute spell cost Town the win.
Powell continued: “We should manage the game and see it out, which you do by ‘playing ugly’ and doing everything you need to do in those situations. We had seen no problems whatsoever; we‘d dealt with more or less everything they threw at us.
“However, we didn’t take responsibility and that’s what you have to do – whether you are two goals up or two goals down. You have to take responsibility on marking and we didn’t do that.
“The second goal was deflected and maybe that’s how it’s going for us at this moment in time.
“It’s really hard to take. We’ve been in a tough position and it would have been a welcome three points. We now have to take a point, but it feels like we’ve not taken any. I’m really disappointed for our horde of fans that came here today.
“You need three points, especially against a side that is right next to you in the table. I’m not saying it would have given us daylight, but when you look at the table and you’re two or three places higher it is good for the soul. We’ve improved a little bit, but it should have been much, much more and it’s really hard to take. It’s a draw that feels like a loss.
“Now we have to get ourselves up again for another game in two days’ time. The big thing now is that we can’t dwell on today – we’ve got to get ourselves up for Bolton. We’ll go into training and be ready.”