Rotherham United face bottom of the table Wycombe Wanderers today in what is simply a must-win game and a chance to put a lot of pressure back onto the teams above them.
Paul Warne’s side head into the fixture needing to make a swift recovery from the frustrating 1-0 defeat they suffered at Millwall on Good Friday. Some key decisions went against the Millers in that game and they were also unable to convert a penalty to take anything from the match. That result coupled with Birmingham City’s win against Swansea City leaves them now four points adrift of safety.
However, Rotherham are playing a day ahead of Birmingham and that means they can now put some real pressure back onto the Blues by securing all three points. While the Millers will also be able to keep pressure on Coventry City as well if they can beat Wycombe. That will not be a straightforward task given Gareth Ainsworth’s side beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on Friday.
Here, we take a look at some of dilemmas facing Warne ahead of this massive game against Wycombe…
How to cope with potential shortage of defenders
One of the major dilemmas facing the Millers ahead of this game is how to potentially cope without three important defensive players. Richard Wood is guaranteed to miss out on the Wycombe clash with him serving a suspension following his red card in the defeat at Millwall on Friday. That means Warne will have to weigh up who to bring into the side in the back three to replace him.
Rotherham’s defensive issues might also be made worse if the Millers are unable to call upon either Matt Olosunde or Clark Robertson. Warne confirmed to the media ahead of the game that Olosunde has been struggling a little with a minor hamstring issue, although he did suggest that he has not pulled his hamstring. He did not know whether he would make the Wycombe clash or not.
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Meanwhile, Robertson is also a doubt for the game with him having also been suffering with a hamstring problem. Although Warne revealed he trained yesterday ahead of the game. If those two players miss out on the squad, then Rotherham are going to have to find a way of setting up defensively to give themselves a solid base to try and win the game.
How to get back to winning ways at the New York Stadium
Another major dilemma facing Warne heading into the game is the Millers’ poor recent form at the New York Stadium, with Rotherham having suffered four successive defeats on home soil since they secured that 3-0 win against Derby County back at the start of February. If that sort of form continues then they will not have much chance of surviving.
The Millers have often struggled on their travels in the Championship in recent campaigns in the English second tier. However, this time around they have a better record away from home than they do at the New York Stadium. Warne suggested ahead of the game against Wycombe that his side have suffered without the influence of their usually vociferous home support.
Rotherham still have to play QPR, Coventry City, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at home after the Wycombe game, so if they get their home form sorted that could well be enough for them to survive. However, if they continue their current form at the New York Stadium it is going to be a major uphill struggle for them. This game is one they have to win to turn the tide of their form.