Rotherham United: Thou shalt not pass, says Broadfoot
Rotherham United believe they can stop any side scoring now management duo Neil Warnock and Kevin Blackwell are leading their Championship survival charge.
The Millers have won four and drawn one of their last five matches. keeping three clean sheets in the process, to move two points clear of the drop zone.
Centre-half Kirk Broadfoot, who has been a key figure in that run, said: “Winning breeds confidence. We go into every game and feel that we aren’t going to concede,”
Rotherham recorded shut-outs as they beat promotions contenders Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town 1-0, and Broadfoot says their new-found tightness is down to work done on the training ground under new boss Warnock and coach Blackwell.
Drills where players are put under defensive pressure are a big part of Blackwell’s regime.
“We work on team defending a lot,” Broadfoot revealed. “We do a lot of training with overload.”
The Tractor Boys were the latest team to run into the Rotherham brick wall, with Broadfoot and Lloyd Doyley defiant in the heart of the defence at Portman Road even though they were starting a game together for only the second time.
Doyley, aged 33, who joined the Millers after making around 400 appearances for Watford, was playing in his first match since a leg injury as Richard Wood protected a hamstring niggle on the bench.
“I thought Doyley did brilliantly,” Broadfoot said. “He’s a naturally fit lad, He has great experience. He’s played at this level for many a year. He’s done fantastically well. He’s a good talker.”
Warnock said: “The two centre-halves were superb.”
Rotherham’s other recent results have been a 2-1 win over Brentford, when the Bees scored only from a rebound from a penalty which the referee later admitted shouldn’t have been awarded, and a 3-3 draw with Derby County when the Rams scored three times in nine minutes.
“We gave them every goal pretty much,” Broadfoot said. “They didn’t work for it, we gave them it. But, apart from that, it’s been good.”
Broadfoot accepts sides above them in the table are likely to have more of the ball against them yet has no doubts he and his teammates, who are training this week despite the international break, are strong enough to cope.
“I thought Ipswich had a lot of possession but I always felt comfortable that we could see it through,” the 31-year-old added.
“If we can keep the shape and make no mistakes then we’ll be in games to the end, and if we can nick a goal, even better.”
Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Tom Thorpe has joined League One Bradford City after impressing Bantams boss Phil Parkinson in a reserve-team fixture last week.
The 23-year-old, who hasn’t played under Warnock, will remain at Valley Parade until the end of theseason.
Parkinson, who left just before half-time, watched him play well against Chesterfield at Roundwood.
Ex-Manchester United youngster Thorpe has made only seven Rotherham appearances, scoring two goals, since being signed by former boss Steve Evans in the summer.