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Five things we learned from the Cardiff game

While watching the Millers’ 0-0 draw at Cardiff on a stuttering internet stream means we can’t get a full perspective of the match, we could see enough to know that Steve Evans’ men put in a promising performance.

Although their winless run extended to eight games, after recent lows there was enough in south Wales to get excited about.

Here’s five things we learned from the match.

It’s not all doom and gloom

The reaction to the last two home games, where one point from matches with Birmingham and Blackpool represented a poor return, has been strong, with the Millers coming under some strong criticism from fans.

The display against Blues a fortnight ago was particular cause for concern, suggesting a long winter was on the cards, but the manner of performance against Cardiff gave optimism that there may be cheer on the horizon.

They dominated possession for much of the game, had the better chances and generally looked comfortable throughout.

Had they taken those opportunities (see below), it could have turned into a famous away win for the club.

At the risk of restarting an old debate, this display was against a team who had won their last five games on their own soil and beat Manchester City, who went on to become Premier League champions, last season should be a reminder of just how far the Millers have come.

Most people would have taken a point before kick-off, most people will be disappointed Steve Evans’ men didn’t leave with three.

The Millers have to be more clinical

This one will never change and has been a common theme in Rotherham’s struggles this season.

If the Millers are to prosper in this division then they need to take their chances when they come along.

Again in the Welsh capital they had opportunities to take the lead but squandered them and as a result left for home feeling as if it was two points dropped.

Scott Wootton showed why he is a defender in the first half when he was heavy-footed in trying to round David Marshall, while Paul Green couldn’t quite react quick enough from the resulting corner.

Tom Lawrence should have hit the back of the net with his chance in the second half, having done the hard work, and, although it was a good save by Marshall, Alex Revell should have buried his header which was tipped on to the bar.

As long as the Millers are creating chances it is a positive, but they have to be more clinical.

As well as they played against the Bluebirds, they have scored just one goal in their last six matches and that remains a cause for concern.

Tom Lawrence is the real deal

Tom Lawrence rightly won the plaudits from Evans after his performance.

The on-loan Leicester striker, playing off the recalled Revell, put in a superb display and show-cased the potential which Manchester United saw in him.

His composure on the ball was first class, with his skill and ability to turn his marker causing Cardiff trouble throughout while he can also beat players by running past them.

His partnership with Revell and his overall link-up play is something to get excited about and his performance was only let down by his inability to score early in the second half after dancing into the penalty area.

There was none of this from Adam Collin this week

Adam Collin showed he has character

Collin took a lot of stick for his howler last week, not least from Evans, who said a 10-year-old could have dealt with the ball which the goalkeeper missed completely.

That could have affected him in a number of ways.

But he showed what sort of character he is at Cardiff with an assured display that was capped with a fine save to keep his side on level terms after the break.

The Millers number one superbly spread himself to deny Federico Macheda, redeeming himself for that error against Blackpool.

On top of that save he commanded his area well, competently claiming a host of late catches, while his kicking was error-free.

Normal service resumed.

The Morgan-Arnason partnership is back!

After being broken up following a string of indecisive and worrying performances, the central defensive partnership of Craig Morgan and Kari Arnason returned to its full glory against the Bluebirds.

The duo, who started playing together in League One, were back to the best of their early-season frugality as they kept Adam Le Fondre and Kenwyne Jones quiet, with neither of them having a sniff.

They were both dominant in the air, strong on the ground and provided a fine last line of defence for Collin, which was only breached on one occasion when Macheda got through in the second half.

Back in the heady days of early-season when talk of a top-half finish was bandied about, which may still be attainable, the partnership of these two was instrumental.

A return to that level could spell good news for the Millers.

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