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Five things we learned from the Brighton game

Rotherham put in another assured display in extending their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw at Brighton.

That said, the way they played in the second half could easily have yielded a win, with several chances spurned.

Here’s five things we learned from the game, or at least what we think we have learned, having watched it on a stuttering internet stream.

Steve Evans’ selection methods should no longer surprise us

As with Ryan Hall’s selection against Leeds last weekend, not many people saw Jordan Bowery earning a start on the south coast. The former Aston Villa striker had managed just 26 minutes since his previous start against Ipswich at the end of September and was an unused substitute in the home games against Leeds and Fulham. It seemed as if he had fallen behind Jonson Clarke-Harris in the pecking order following the former Oldham man’s exploits over the last week or so, with Matt Derbyshire also getting plenty of game time.

So, eyebrows must have been raised when he got the nod at the AMEX, again proving that more often that not Evans will throw a curve ball in when naming his team as the Scot tailored his system to playing Brighton. That did not last long, though, as a sluggish start saw the Millers revert to a 4-4-2 and Bowery moved to a more central role.

It was there he had arguably the Millers best chance of the first half when he had a free header which he glanced wide of the target. He was ineffectual in the second half and was replaced by Clarke-Harris 11 minutes after the restart. Who will start up front when Middlesbrough visit next week is anyone’s guess.

Boss Steve Evans is not afraid to make changes to his side

Craig Morgan can play football

His central defensive partner Kari Arnason has been winning a lot of plaudits this season, but Morgan has been just as effective for the Millers. The skipper was the rock on which back-to-back promotions were built, and having represented Wales, his ability to play at this level was never in doubt.

However, with the greatest respect to Morgan his game in League One and League Two was based on winning headers and making important clearances and there weren’t too many times he looked too comfortable in possession. But in the Championship, perhaps with less in-your-face pressing from attackers, Morgan has developed a real cultured side to his game. Along with the same amount of headers and clearances won, Morgan looks a different player on the ball. The way he brought it out of defence in the second half and advanced on goal, forcing David Stockdale into another fine save, was akin to a Frank Leboeuf or Rio Ferdinand, while there were several other examples of a calm head and quick feet in possession getting the team out of trouble.

There is a strong argument to say Morgan and Arnason are the best central defensive pairing since Swailes and McIntosh a decade ago and if they carry on playing like this, they could easily eclipse that popular duo’s achievement.

Alex Revell is the real deal - and now he's proving it

Alex Revell has often been the go-to man when fans have been looking to vent some frustration as the striker has never been prolific. However, those who have been able to look past his goalscoring record and acknowledge the job he does for the team will take real pleasure in his recent glut in front of goal. His equaliser at the AMEX - against his former club - made it three in three for the big man, the first time he has ever managed that in his Millers career.

In truth, Revell looks like a new man lately. The confidence that he is playing with is there for all to see, the quality of his hold-up play has gone through the roof, he wins most of his headers against top-class defenders and he continues to cover every blade of grass in working hard for the team. And now he is beginning to add goals to his game, he will be attracting even more interest from other clubs. His finish against Albion was as cool and accomplished as any of his goals in a red and white shirt, taking the ball on the run and neatly tucking home, and there's an argument to suggest he might have missed a similar chance earlier on in this season.

Of course, there were still opportunities he missed, a first-half header and a skewed second-half shot, but that will always be the case with Revell - you have to take the rough with the smooth. And on this evidence, the smooth is getting smoother and the rough is also!

Lee Frecklington is yet to trouble the scorers this season, despite getting 13 last year

The midfield need to start contributing goals

It's a good job that Revell and Clarke-Harris have found their shooting boots because the strikers aren't getting much help at the minute. Perhaps we were spoilt last season with Kieran Agard banging most of his goals in from a wide position, Lee Frecklington notching double figures and Ben Pringle finding the time and space to whack a few in, but the midfield have offered just two goals from open play this season, with further efforts coming from Anthony Wordsworth's free-kick at Bolton and Paul Green's penalty at Norwich. 

If the Millers are to kick on and pull further away from the relegation zone, as performances suggest they are more than capable of doing, then the midfielders need to start getting in on the scoring act. Green had a fine chance in the first half, which was stopped by Stockdale's brilliance, but although returning to his best Frecklington has not really looked like scoring and so far seems to be lacking the confidence to shoot from distance this season. Ben Pringle has yet to find his shooting range, though that will no doubt come, while Paul Taylor, who in fairness was probably robbed of a goal by Revell on Tuesday against Fulham and has gone close on several occasions, has been too inconsistent with his final touch.

David Stockdale is a brilliant goalkeeper

Rotherham fans will need no introduction to Stockdale and his goalkeeping abilities after his eight-game loan spell with the Millers six years ago. Since that fleeting stay at Don Valley Stadium he has improved immeasurably and when at Fulham he earned a call-up to the England squad for a Euro 2012 qualifier. 

But the travelling support - and those watching on a stream - had just how good he was rammed down their throats as he made a string of saves to deny the Millers three points. In the first half he kept out Paul Green and Alex Revell with decent stops, but in the second was far busier. He did well to palm Morgan's long-distance shot around the post, then produced a world class save to keep out Clarke-Harris' vicious free-kick before somehow, much to the Millers' frustration, clawing out Gordon Greer's skewed injury-time clearance when it looked for all the world as if it was going in.

Evans said in his post-match interviews that Stockdale was typified what the Championship was about, but the Millers should be able to sleep easily, not every keeper will have a worldy when they turn up.

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