#blog-pager{clear:both;margin:30px auto;text-align:center; padding: 7px;} .blog-pager {background: none;} .displaypageNum a,.showpage a,.pagecurrent{padding: 3px 7px;margin-right:5px;background:#E9E9E9;color: #888;border:1px solid #E9E9E9;} .displaypageNum a:hover,.showpage a:hover,.pagecurrent{background:#CECECE;text-decoration:none;color: #000;} .showpageOf{display:none!important} #blog-pager .showpage, #blog-pager .pagecurrent{font-weight:bold;color: #888;} #blog-pager .pages{border:none;} - See more at: http://labstrikes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/add-calendar-style-date-widget-for-blog-post.html#sthash.Js2lbh9N.dpuf


An A to Z of Rotherham's 2015-16 campaign

Another season has ended and in true Rotherham United style it was full of ups and downs.

For large parts of the 2015-16 campaign it looked like the Millers were heading to League One until Neil Warnock rode into town and masterminded an 11-game unbeaten run that will be remembered for years to come.

Here we look back at the season through the medium of an A to Z.

A is for Arrivals - Rotherham carried on in the same vein as last season with a plethora of signings throughout the year. Even Steve Evans' exit in September did not temper the arrivals, which by the time the window shut in March stood at 31 - the exact same as last term.

B is for Braveheart - Kirk Broadfoot is Rotherham's very own Braveheart as the Scottish centre-half made up for his 10-game ban at the start of the season by putting in some sterling performances. Assuming the armband, he headed it, kicked it, cleared it, marauded out of defence with it and looked a genuine Championship defender.

C is for Changes - Not until Warnock came to the club did Rotherham have any semblance of consistency in their starting line-ups. Steve Evans battled with out-of-form players in his own style while Neil Redfearn was unlucky with injuries, both of which contributed to there being 97 changes over the 49 games of the season.

D is for D-Day - The April trip to MK Dons was long pencilled in the diary as 'must-not lose', though not many people thought Rotherham would arrive six points ahead of their rivals. And on such a big occasion the Millers produced a simply brilliant display to win 4-0. Safety was not mathematically achieved until a fortnight later, but this was the day the job was done.

E is for Eleven - Eleven matches doesn't seem much, it's less than 23 per cent of the season. But it was 11 games from February 28 to April 23 that decided how Rotherham's campaign would end. Going unbeaten in that period of time saw the Millers go from six points adrift of safety to 10 points clear and they picked up some notable scalps along the way. Whatever happens next, it is what Warnock will be remembered for.

F is for Flops - When you are bringing 31 players into the club over the course of the season, it's only natural that some of them are not going to work out. But, as was the case last year, a high percentage were failures, with both Evans and Redfearn guilty of signing duffs. Kelle Roos, Aidy White, Chris Maguire, Emmanuel Ledesma, Brandon Barker, Simon Lenighan and Shay Facey headline the list of failed signings.

G is for Gamble - When Rotherham sank to a desperately disappointing defeat at Bolton, they slipped into the relegation zone for the first time since before Christmas. But Tony Stewart had seen enough and pulled the trigger on Redfearn just 21 games after appointing him, turning his back on a long-term project. It was a massive gamble, but boy did it pay off.

H is for Hillsborough - Hillsborough has long been a happy hunting ground for Rotherham and this year was no different. Led by staunch Unitedite Warnock, Matt Derbyshire's first-half goal was enough to take all three points and see the Millers become the first team to win at Sheffield Wednesday since August. It also stretched their unbeaten run at S6 to 35 years.

Is is for Integral - Never has one man's contribution been felt more than Lee Frecklington this season. The Millers stalwart, and only survivor of League Two, was so integral to his side and results showed it as 10 of the 13 wins came with him in midfield. His return from injury twice sparked winning runs and he was arguably the key player of the campaign with his box-to-box mobility and lung-bursting energy.

J is for Justice - In a game that Rotherham had simply no option but to win, they were dealt the unfairest of hands after referee Mark Brown inexplicably gave Brentford a penalty just before half-time despite a perfectly clean tackle by Frecklington. The Bees scored and the Millers were pegged back until Danny Ward fired home a late winner to serve justice for the earlier shocking decision. Brown later told Frecklington that he was glad the Millers found a winner.

K is for Keeper - Rotherham's season was a tale of two goalkeepers. For the early part there was Kelle Roos, an error riddled loanee from Derby who was the poster boy of a terrible start to the campaign. Then there was Lee Camp, who was everything Roos was not, with his superb shot-stopping making him a landslide winner of the club's player of the season.

L is for Leeds - Rotherham's campaign was inextricably linked with Leeds for a number of reasons. First of all, the Millers took six points off their Yorkshire rivals (taking the tally to 14 from 18), then Evans, who started the season as Millers boss, went to Leeds, just over a week after their former boss Redfearn replaced Evans at New York. You can also throw into the mix an FA Cup tie in January and another former Leeds manager in Warnock coming to the Millers in February.

M is for March - March is the month where Rotherham really laid the foundations of the great escape. With wins against Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, and Ipswich and a draw against Derby from 3-0 down, the Millers picked up a superb 10 points which fired them out of the relegation zone and earned Warnock manager of the month.

N is for Never-say-die - Rotherham's fighting ability underpinned the superb 11-game unbeaten run. The second-half defensive rearguard action at Hillsborough, the last-gasp winner over Boro, the once-in-a-lifetime comeback against Derby, the late drama against Leeds, they kept showing their relentless spirit on a number of occasions and kept getting their rewards. 

O is for Ojidja-Ofoe - September seems a long time ago, but it was the arrival of Vadis Ojidja-Ofoe on loan from Norwich that kick-started Rotherham's season. After a dire start, the Belgian arrived on transfer deadline day and his undoubted quality helped the Millers to seven points from his four games at the club.

P is for Promotion contenders - Rotherham took real pleasure in playing promotion contenders as they provided some of their best results of the season. In fact, eight of the Millers' 13 wins came against sides in the top 10. And they did it when it mattered too as Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Ipswich were all dispatched during the club's 11-game unbeaten run. 

Q is for Quips Warnock might just be the only man who performs better with a microphone in his face than Evans and with five months of the dry-humoured Redfearn in between it really was a season of sound-bites from the Millers managers. Warnock is the one you wanted to listen to most, though, with his old-school humour, self-depreciation and unerring ability to say it like it is.

R is for Resurrection - When Rotherham were tackling the long journey home from Reading in February, there were dead and buried. Six points adrift of safety and their position worsening since the arrival of Warnock, they were staring down the barrel and finishing bottom seemed more likely than staying up. But then the Messiah worked his magic and the Millers magically produced a stunning run of form to raise from the dead.

S is for Sackings - Rotherham disposed of two managers in a season for the first time since 1996-97 as Evans and Redfearn faced the bullet. Evans' departure was dressed up as mutual as tensions over the manner of his reign came to a head after the win at Birmingham while Redfearn paid the price for back-to-back defeats to Charlton and Bolton.

T is for Turnaround - T could also be for Turbulent. Both words are suitable to describe Greg Halford's season. Starting the campaign on a high having been named captain, things turned sour very quickly and he found himself an outcast at the club. Some petulant tweets did not help his cause and it was only when Warnock came to the club that he proved his capabilities, becoming a key player.

U is for United - Before Warnock came to the club, it was in disarray. Results were poor, players had been frozen out and the fans were calling for Redfearn to be sacked. But once a testing first fortnight in the role had passed, Warnock with his man-management prowess was able to unite the club so that fans, the management, staff, the board and players were all pulling in the same direction.

V is for Virgo - Everyone's favourite pundit did little to endear himself to Rotherham fans when he piled into their team after he saw then in defeat at Brighton. Virgo said he could only see the Millers' season "ending one way" and it led to Evans describing him as "awful". At least the Channel 5 man had the good grace to admit he was wrong when Warnock led the great escape.

W is Warnock - The undoubted man of the season, the key reason Rotherham beat the drop. The 67-year-old was lured out of retirement on a 16-game brief to deliver safety and it was mission accomplished after he oversaw an 11-game unbeaten run which will be remembered forever, beating teams at the top end of the division and firing the Millers up the table.

X is for X-rated - There were plenty of horror shows throughout the season for Rotherham, who put in some desperate displays. They were shockingly beaten by MK Dons on the opening day, lost 7-2 to Fulham over two games, were hammered 5-2 at home to Ipswich, put in a complete no-show at Huddersfield, were whipped by Charlton at home and ended the season with a thumping at Hull.

Y is for Yorkshire - Huddersfield were the only side from the White Rose County that Rotherham were unable to beat over the course of the campaign. The Millers scored wins over Leeds (twice), Sheffield Wednesday, Hull and Middlesbrough, though suffered defeats in the reverse fixtures. Huddersfield took four points off the Millers.

Z is for Zip It - Arrogant Derby boss Darren Wassall gestured to the Rotherham fans to button it when his side went 3-0 up in their March trip to New York Stadium. He was still enjoying himself when the clock turned past 80 minutes as his side were coasting. But the following 10 minutes will go down in Millers folklore as they staged a superb fightback to wipe the smile off Wassall's face and earn a vital point. Boss Warnock ranked that game as his most favourite owing to the Derby manager's earlier premature celebrations.

Latest News




Copyright 2016