Defiant Rotherham United boss Alan Stubbs has shrugged off the abuse he received from the club’s own fans in the aftermath of the derby mauling at Barnsley.
The Millers manager was jeered and sworn at by a section of seething away supporters as he headed for the Oakwell tunnel after watching his side lose 4-0 in the South Yorkshire showdown.
“You have seen the shoulders on me. I can take that all day long,” said the former centre-half. “It is part and parcel of the game.
“I haven’t had to deal with that in my short managerial career but, as a player, when the chips were down, stick your chest out and tackle it head on. It won’t be the last time it happens.”
Rotherham had taken a 3,200-plus following to Barnsley. Many had left by the time of the final whistle, but a vociferous group stayed and made their feelings known to Stubbs and his players while one supporter had to be kept off the pitch by stewards.
The boss plans to be a busy man between now and the close of the transfer window on Wednesday night as he seeks to strengthen his side and reacts to last Saturday’s dismal second-half showing by letting some players leave.
Chairman Tony Stewart left his seat before the end of match as second-half goals from Marc Roberts, 54 minutes, Adam Hammill, 57, Tom Bradshaw, 86, and Ryan Kent, 90+1, left the Millers in the bottom of three of the Championship heading into the international break.
“None of those players went out there with the mindset of losing the game,” Stubbs said. “I thought for the first 50 minutes or so we were the better team, then after that it wasn’t good enough.
“We are in the middle of a rebuilding process. That has been evident. We have lost 12 players in the summer, so it is a big rebuilding job.
“Results like this ... it’s a local derby. I am disappointed for the fans and the players need to respond to that.
“They have come here and spent their hard-earned money to support the team. For 54 minutes they are probably liking what they see, for the rest of it they weren’t.
“Up until the first goal, I actually thought we were the better team. It looked like we were causing them problems. Probably our final ball let us down when we were on top.
“There has to be strong words. The players aren’t soft. There has to be a responsibility for them to represent the club. No-one goes out there to lose games of football, but we have to be resilient when we do go behind and not concede the goals that we did after that.”