Discussion Comments: Physical Millers present tough opponents – but leave a score on the outcome in our own hands.

Was our game plan wrong?

Of course, Rotherham had a different idea than Cambridge, but in the past, we’ve agreed to a very different game plan – one that tried to get Rotherham and go with them physically.

Unfortunately, Rotherham have strengths that we don’t have – they are strong, straightforward, in the ear of the referee in all games, and tread a very good line when it comes to offense. , time consuming and that physical side of the game. They are a very positive team, I appreciate them a lot, and we are not that kind of team. We don’t have those kinds of players to take them to their own game – but that’s what we intended to do.

From the beginning, we were pushing long balls, trying to win the physical battle, and we couldn’t do it. In our podcast after the Cambridge game, I praised Alex Neil for using his actions for various protests – last night I thought we were wrong.

Releasing Embleton after an amazing performance on Saturday, and turning Gooch on the ‘wrong’ side, we show great concern about stopping the opposition before playing in our own game. I believe we had enough of winning a team in this league if we used our players to their best – we didn’t do that that night. Whether it’s design, or because of Rotherham’s strength is arguable.

Rotherham are a team flying over the finish line – their confidence would have been weaker if we had led, or compared to ours. But we were very cautious, and seemed determined not to win.

Alex Neil was very pleased with the way the game went – in public at least – which I found interesting. We can play Rotherham in games, and if we want to get up, we have to be better than last night.

Was Alex Neil wrong tonight?
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA photo via Getty Images


The lack of keys on goal in a home game of that nature is very frustrating

As a result of our game plan to end Rotherham we didn’t do anything. Nothing. No. Nada. Not getting a shot at the goal in a home game against an advertising opponent – remember, a win gives us a little bit of advertising time – is really poor.

Yes, Rotherham are a good team – I would say they are the best team we have played this season – but not doing anything in a game of that magnitude is a shame. .

Broadhead may have had his poorest game in the Sunderland shirt – Neil admitted after the game that he may not play him due to injury – and Ross Stewart may not have received a kiss. Gooch was the main supplier last time, and it wasn’t until his return to the north that we realized he could harass the opposition.

Sunderland v Rotherham - Sky Bet League One

Stewart didn’t see it last night
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


In the end, however, it is a good result – and our souls cannot be questioned

Having said that all, however, the draw has a positive effect – it is more valuable than the number we add to our total. If Rotherham won, they would have gone up in goal difference, for all intents and purposes, but the iconic MK Dons will only follow them on a number of points going into the finals. week.

MK Dons go to Plymouth, who are now behind us, and they know they will win in order to secure Rotherham’s stay at Gillingham – that’s what the outcome will need to avoid. in relegation.

If we had lost last night, the MK Dons might have had a hard time waking themselves up for their game, defending themselves ahead of the playoffs, but they have everything to play, and hopefully, that’s good news for us. .

We kept going, holding our heads up, and recounting those kinds of struggles that were evident from Neil’s early days – and, regardless of the others, it was the best.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

There is a point in the end
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA photo via Getty Images


Is this a worthwhile lesson for what – hopefully – the future?

If we were going to play games, we would be facing two or three games against the opposition in a similar way to Rotherham.

If we get there, we can’t get into those games without a good organization. Alex Neil is the kind of manager who looks at his own performance as players.

Will he approach this game in the same way if he has more time?

Hope not.

If we set up like everyone else we play in the play-offs, it’s hard for us to get up, easy like that.

Fortunately, I think we’ve got a manager who is more able to keep an eye on his work and his players, and make small tweaks to make sure we do more.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

We need to take lessons from tonight – similar challenges, hopefully, are ahead
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA photo via Getty Images


The Premier League ref? Not immediately

I have high hopes that Bobby Madley, the former Premier League striker, will keep his grip on the game and break Rotherham’s physical condition. I was wrong.

From his mocking decision to keep Matete for a good argument, he didn’t see Ross Stewart clearly wrong in setting up Rotherham’s goal, he didn’t maintain control of the game, and he played straight to the hands of the stranger.

The fact that he arrested Rathbone after his three -book offense summed up his testimony. That is not the reason why Sunderland are not good, as we have discussed. But he didn’t help.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

To be honest, he almost set up a move for Sunderland, until he punished … himself
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA photo via Getty Images


However, everything is in our own hands

With five minutes to go, we face the prospect of going to Morecambe, winning, and finishing seventh.

Now, thanks to that analogy, we’re heading to the west coast knowing it’s a victory that will guarantee us a place in the game.

With Morecambe struggling to stay on top, they’ll be desperate for three points, so it won’t be easy – but it’s in our own hands, and it’s something to be thankful for.

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