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Rotherham 2 Ipswich 5: Five things we learned

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Rotherham, they put one of their worst displays in for some time as they were beaten 5-2 by Ipswich.

4-0 down after 48 minutes tells its own story but the Millers showed everything in a side that is going down.

Darly Murphy broke his duck for the season with a first hat-trick in English football, adding to goals from Brett Pitman and Jonathan Douglas.

The Millers briefly rallied through Brandon Barker and Matt Derbyshire, but those two quickfire goals masked what was a dark day.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

Comparisons to the dark days

The first 50 minutes as the Millers found themselves 4-0 down could be described in a number of ways. Pathetic, half-hearted, weak, doomed, incoherent, tentative, shambolic, lacklustre, toothless and dispirited – the list is endless. At its worst, it was impossible not to compare the performance to some of the dark days the club has endured in recent times. The softness of their display and the lack of hope was reminiscent of the Danny Bergara season and even more of the last time Rotherham went down from this division in 2004-05. The inevitability about it all is a concern and there has to be a massive change in landscape if the Millers are going to get out of this mess.

Rotherham still relying on screamers

Rotherham scored two goals in a game for the first time since the win at Birmingham in September, but the lack of quality in the final third is still telling. Those two goals were both stunning strikes, first from Brandon Barker and then from Matt Derbyshire and they deserve credit. However, those two were the only shots on goal the Millers – playing at home, remember – had on Dean Gerken's net, meaning Ipswich goalkeeper did not make a save in the entire 90 minutes. Barker looks like, given time, he could create opportunities, while Jonson Clarke-Harris was a threat coming off the bench, but apart from that nothing came from what could be considered an attacking formula or patter of play.

This has got all the hallmarks of a relegation season

This may well be stating the obvious given the precarious league position but based on the last few weeks, and against Ipswich specifically, the Millers are a side heading for relegation. Unlike last season's struggle, they don't ever seem to be in games, easily getting brushed aside, they are regular architects of their own downfall and the fans are disengaged, even turning on their own players. There is so much similar to the terrible 04-05 season that saw the Millers cut adrift before Christmas. This team could be heading in a similar direction.

That might be the end of the road for Paul Green

Neil Redfearn and the fans are at odds over their opinion on midfielder Paul Green, with the boss an admirer and the fans definitely not. But Redfearn might just have his hand forced by Green's display in the first half of this loss against Ipswich. He was involved in both of Town's opening goals, the first clearly at fault for failing to clear the ball before being caught in possession for the damaging second goal, and the fans' patience with midfielder finally came to an end as some sections of the crowd resorted to booing him when he was in position – reminiscent of the treatment Kevin Watson received 14 years ago. His lack of confidence was evident after that fan reaction and his head was on the floor, consequently being withdrawn withdrawn at half-time and it could be a while before he is seen in the Millers side again.

Brandon Barker's performance might be the only positive

Barker arrived at the club on Friday and was thrown straight into the starting XI and he showcased his undoubted ability on what was his Football League debut. The quality of his goal speaks for itself with the way he created space for himself and then bent in a superb shot into the top corner very impressive. Although sometimes getting lost in the game, Barker also showed he has ability to get past players and get into dangerous positions, something that has been missing throughout much of the season. Aged 19, he is only going to get better throughout his spell and that is something that the Millers will want to hang their hat on.

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