Rotherham United have made a solid start to the season, following their promotion via the League 1 play-offs last campaign. Three wins, all at the New York Stadium and all by a 1-0 score line, over Ipswich Town, Millwall and Derby County have left The Millers in 15th place, with nine points from their opening eight Championship matches.
However, Paul Warne’s side have struggled away from home so far this season, with Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa their fourth straight defeat away from home this season. Rotherham’s poor away form in the Championship stretches back to their relegation campaign in the 2016-17 season, and they have now gone 29 matches, losing 26 of those, without an away win in the Championship.
Despite this poor record away from home, Warne’s side are beginning to show signs that they can pick up some positive results away from home this season. Since a comprehensive 5-1 defeat at Brentford on the opening day, Rotherham have steadily improved on their travels, and could, arguably, have picked up a point in all three of their other away defeats.
At Elland Road in their second away fixture The Millers produced an encouraging performance, especially in the first half, with Jon Taylor hitting the post from outside the box and Ryan Williams missing from close range in the opening half. Leeds eventually won the game 2-0 with both goals coming in an improved second half performance.
Rotherham’s next away game ended in a 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic in what was an even contest for most of the match. James Vaughan turned in the winner 17 minutes from time, after Marek Rodak failed to hold onto Callum McManaman’s effort. The Millers had opportunities to rescue a point, but Williams was denied by a finger tip save from Wigan’s Simon Walton.
It was a similar story in Tuesday’s defeat at Villa Park as the hosts, through Tammy Abraham, produced a moment of quality to give themselves the lead before the break. Rotherham created enough chances in the second half to earn a point, but were punished by Yannick Bolasie, who doubled Villa’s lead with eight minutes to play.
Although Warne’s side have now scored only one goal in their four away matches, they have shown that they can create opportunities, and frustrate their opponents for spells in matches. The next step for Rotherham will be to start taking their chances, if they can do that their away form can improve as the season progresses.