‘It felt a bit personal’ – Rotherham United boss incredulous with referee decisions in Cardiff City defeat
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was disbelieving that his side were not awarded any penalties in their Championship defeat to Cardiff City.
The Millers suffered only a second defeat in seven matches on Tuesday night, as they succumbed to a late winner at home.
After dominating the first half, they went into the break behind when Sheyi Ojo finished on the counter.
Matt Crooks hauled them back into the game with a tap-in to level, but Joe Bennett won it five minutes from time for Cardiff with a header.
Warne had no complaints with the performance of his players on the night, but was incredulous that his side did not receive any penalties.
Both Michael Smith and Richard Wood could have been awarded spot-kicks in the first half, but referee Geoff Eltringham was unmoved on both occasions and was similarly insistent with a handball claim against former Rotherham man Will Vaulks in added time.
“Dare I say that I think we were more than deserving of a penalty,” Warne told The72 after the match. “I need to watch it back but the one on Smudge (Smith), I can’t see how that is not a foul. I don’t know what to say, I don’t know why the ref hasn’t given that.
“Considering it was a game with a lot of weak fouls given, the ones in the box seemed to be a different standard.
“We go through games of full luck and then no luck, it’s either one or the other. On Saturday we rode our luck and then today I don’t think we had any.
“I stood on the side of the pitch after about 60 minutes and it felt a bit personal to me. I don’t understand why we didn’t get them.”
Overall Warne could be pleased with another solid performance from his charges though, as their strong showing since the turn of the year continued.
They are only a point clear of the relegation zone but once again showed plenty of positive signs that they will have enough to beat the drop.
Against a passive Cardiff side they were confident in controlling play, taking the game to the opposition and creating chances.
Warne was just left to rue defensive lapses that allowed Cardiff to score twice – first from a long ball over the top that came very much against the run of play, then the late winner which saw Bennett go unmarked.
“Over the course of the 95 minutes I don’t think we deserved to lose,” said the Rotherham boss. “I asked the lads to give everything they got as they always do.
“I thought first half we were really good, really in the ascendancy. It was just a misjudgement for their goal, one of my players decided to pop out of his position and should have stayed where they were.
“All-in-all we went in at half-time 1-0 down but really pleased with how we played. I just don’t think our second-half performance was as good. We didn’t seem to win as many challenges and they had more of the play.
“We got ourselves back in with another Smudge-Crooks goal, and I thought we would go on and win it. We made attacking subs to try and win the game, and unfortunately we get done with a great ball into the box, not tracking the runner as well as we’d have liked, and a good finish.
“In the end we come away disappointed but really proud of the way we played. I don’t know how much more effort we can get out of the lads.”