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Ipswich Town 4 v 3 Rotherham United
SkyBet Championship
Tuesday, 20th February 2024 Kick-off 19:45
Richardson: You Saw the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Us
Wednesday, 21st Feb 2024 10:03

Rotherham United boss Leam Richardson felt “the good, the bad and the ugly” of his bottom-of-the-table Millers side were on display as they fell to a last-gasp 4-3 defeat to the Blues at Portman Road.

The South Yorkshiremen thought they’d rescued a valuable point when Cafu netted a 94th-minute penalty to make the score 3-3, but Omari Hutchinson drove home a winner for the Blues only a minute later to move Town up to third, behind second-placed Leeds on goal difference alone.

“Disappointed, I think tonight you saw the good, the bad and the ugly of what we are and why we’re in the position we’re in at the minute,” Richardson, who worked as former Town boss Paul Cook’s assistant at a number of clubs, said afterwards.

“Disappointed for the players, I thought we worked terrifically hard. I thought we started the game very well.

“We had a crazy 10 minutes, for some reason we took a backward step, the first [Ipswich] goal hurt us and we never really recovered from it, we were like a dazed boxer.

“But then after that, I thought probably for the last hour we probably deserved something from the game.

“I don’t think many teams come here and dominate all stats, score three goals and not win the game, so disappointed for the players.”

The Millers remain 14 points from safety having taken 19 points from 33 games with Richardson having taken charge in early December following the sacking of Matty Taylor.

“When I came into the situation that we’re in, I knew the challenge, knew exactly what we were, what we had and we want to just give a good account of ourselves every time,” he reflected.

“It would be easier to give up. Everybody’s got an opinion, everybody lives in a world where everybody can criticise certain things at certain moments, and certainly after games.

“But I don’t think anybody should really give us our fate, we should take our fate in our own hands.

“No matter what points we are at or where we are, we want to evolve as a football club. There’s a lot of work that needs to be going on off the pitch to sustain and challenge clubs like Ipswich.”

Richardson admitted he was thinking about winning the match rather than losing it when Cafu dinked his Panenka penalty down the middle of Vaclav Hladky’s goal.

“We spoke about it straight away before the penalty, I felt like we could try and win the game rather than sit [back for the point],” he continued.

“I don’t think there’s any need to sit on our heels because we saw what that gave us in the first half.

“We go forward and then I think we had a really good opportunity to go and win the game and had a couple of [moments of poor] decision-making at the time and obviously they go up the other end and score a poor goal from our [perspective]. All four goals were poor, they all can be avoided.

“A great game for the neutral, but I don’t think anybody saw Ipswich going to win the game. I think they would have seen Rotherham go on and win the game. But where we’re at at the minute, it’s a tough one to take for the players.”

Richardson says his side’s display was typical of their recent form even if results continue to go against them.

“A lot of the performances since I’ve been in the building have been very similar and especially of late,” he said.

“Watford, Hull, Ipswich, we’ve been up in all the possession stats, crosses, shots etc, but the main stat that counts we’ve found ourselves on the wrong side of, which is tough for them.

“They were on the floor when I came in and I’m trying to lift them off the floor constantly and we’ve got 13 real big games for ourselves.

“And if we start where we left off this evening on Saturday [at QPR], we’ll look for a positive result.”

Photo: Action Images

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RobITFC added 10:35 - Feb 21
Fair play, they deserved at least a point, probably their best performance this season against our worst ? Tired legs after the Swansea game in tough conditions but no excuse, hopefully the players have fully recovered come Saturday?

churchmans added 10:43 - Feb 21
Incredible thar we came away with all 3points! Teams will look at this game and realise (if they didn't already) that if they come at us we will no doubt fold!! But fortunate for us we have an awesome attacking force

Europablue added 11:02 - Feb 21
I don't know about anyone thinking Rotherham would go on to win it, doesn't everybody know how relentless Ipswich are? I was expecting us to still go on and win it. When their player hit the post I was half thinking, if Rotherham are going to score let it happen with enough time for us to go and get the winner. We still had 5 minutes left, so it was clear that we would get at least one chance.
It's very difficult to say that we scored 4 avoidable goals when the 3 Rotherham goals came from a defensive mix up, a missed punch from the goalkeeper, and a very soft penalty. That's not to say Rotherham played badly. Last night was a match between a very good team playing poorly and a poor team playing very well. We are still a threat going forward even when we can't defend and they are still open at the back when they are dominating the game.

gosblue added 11:09 - Feb 21
We got the wrong man from Wigan when we got Cook. Richardson knows his football.

barrystedmunds added 11:24 - Feb 21
We can talk all day about “avoidable goals” I prefer “awful defending”!
Their first goal was schoolboy stuff, as for their second !!!!

Europablue added 11:35 - Feb 21
gosblue I don't know. I'm happy with how it worked out. Just look at the recruitment that Cook did. It's true that he couldn't get the best out of them and that there were a few weaknesses in the squad, but Cook left the team in a decent state for KM to come in.
You have to ask yourself, why is Richardson managing at Rotherham rather than an established Championship team with a bigger budget?
The success that Paul Cook had certainly had something to do with Richardson, but maybe the same can be said the other way round and also, sometimes everything just falls into place just right.

JimInGreensboro added 12:43 - Feb 21
To be fair, what I saw was a tired squad in the second half making untypical unforced errors in the passing game, not communicating well generally and missing our Massimo+Morsy mortar in the midfield.
We did not play well. But we still found a way to win.

BurleysGloryDays added 14:00 - Feb 21
Saw lots of ugly, Liam!

Bert added 15:22 - Feb 21
Fair and balanced comments. Many of us were far from certain that we were going to hang on. That said, I do think our goals were created by ourselves whereas their goals were two mistakes by us and a mistake by the referee. I’m sure that the team will learn from this where opposition teams set up to break up our play, hassle us with and without the ball and play with nothing to lose. We won the game but it felt like a defeat. A very weird feeling indeed.

jon_talbot56 added 17:44 - Feb 21
Tiredness is a poor excuse for what happened last night. How many games do the likes City, Liverpool and Arsenal play at the highest level? The truth is Town were off it from the start, were allowed a lot of space to score three goals and then the whole team relaxed thinking it job done. I am loathe to criticise a KMK team but the issue was attitude and in that department we were taught a lesson. Rotherham know they are going to be relegated and no one would have blamed them for defeat but they never gave up. I have nothing but admiration for their professional attitude.

ArnieM added 21:42 - Feb 21
Rotherham were probably the first team to really ask questions of our team’s ability to produce BASIC defending and one individual was horribly exposed. But I doubt he’ll get dropped as he’s golden balls with McKenna unfortunately.

Michael101 added 21:43 - Feb 21
If Rotherham get relegated (witch seems likely), hope they keep him on , reckon he will turn them around.

Karlosfandangal added 16:28 - Feb 23
If KmK does leave Town at the end of the season (be surprised) then Richardson would be an excellent replacement

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