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Rotherham 2 Hull 0: Five things we learned

Rotherham responded to a public pasting by boss Neil Redfearn in the best possible way by cutting Hull down to size in a 2-0 win.

It was a resounding performance at polar opposites with the one that drew the criticism from Redfearn after the loss to Huddersfield in midweek.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

Neil Redfearn - tactical genius!

There cannot have been too many people who did not express surprise at Redfearn's team selection, especially when they saw there was just one striker on the pitch. Dropping Jonson Clarke-Harris, who the fans love, for Danny Ward and packing the midfield at home was a brave selection from the boss. But it proved to be a masterstroke. Not only did Ward excel (see more below), the tactics worked to a tee as the five-man midfield allowed the Millers to press, get close to Hull and attack as a unit. In a poll on Twitter, of nearly 100 people, 85 per cent thought that Redfearn got his team selection wrong. 85 per cent of the people were wrong.

Danny Ward finally comes to the party

It's been a long time coming, but Ward finally gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of with a virtuoso display in a lone striking role. Ridiculed by fans online when selected, Ward silenced the critics with a performance that proved he is a better candidate at the lone striking role than Clarke-Harris. He won his headers, held the ball up, linked up play superbly, was highly mobile across the back line and gave Harry Maguire and Curtis Davies a difficult afternoon. All that was missing was a goal his performance deserved. If Ward can stay fit and build on this, then he could really show why he is rated so highly by those in the game.

Fight, spirit, application, desire - all there

All of the attributes that are synonymous with Rotherham United over the last few years and were missing on Tuesday were there in abundance against Hull. The desire was apparent throughout as everyone scrapped, battled and fought for the ball, showing the energy to press Hull throughout. They were organised, hunted in packs and looked like they had a game plan. Whatever they may lack in quality compared to other sides in the division, they at least showed their ability to fight and restored their pride after Tuesday's let down at Huddersfield. Redfearn has said that those qualities are the bare minimum and he was not let down against the Tigers.

Viva Kirk Broadfoot

This has to be one of the greatest turnarounds at a football club ever. From the start of last season where he was struggling at right-back and being outpaced by the likes of Atdhe Nuhiu to the masterful performances over the last few weeks, culminating in having a £10million striker in his pocket against Hull, Broadfoot is now the number one defender at New York. He was simply outstanding against the Tigers and built on his recent performances. He wins almost everything in the air, is positionally sound and is good with the ball. He limited to Abel Hernandez to scraps and was always in the right place to save the day on several occasions. Oh and he won the penalty. He is now pretty much the first name on the teamsheet and it begs the question, where would the Millers be if he had been available for the first 10 games of the season.

That post deserves a Christmas kiss

As good as the Millers were - and they were probably at the top of their game - Hull were not without their chances and the hosts probably had some luck to thank for keeping a clean sheet. But boy did they deserve it. Who knows what would have happened had Chuba Akpom nestled the ball in the back of the net just three minutes into the second half instead of hitting the post? And it was the same piece of woodwork that again denied the on-loan Arsenal man late on in the game when he missed another golden chance to set up a grandstand finish. It was probably only then that they you knew it was going to be the Millers day.

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