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Paul Warne praises Rotherham players after battling draw with Stoke

Swansea City v Rotherham United – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Rotherham manager Paul Warne said his side were amazing as they drew a thrilling contest 3-3 with Stoke to mark his 200th game in charge.

Rotherham twice let their lead slip in the second half as Stoke battled back to earn a point on a wet night in South Yorkshire.

Stoke took an early lead when Rhys Norrington-Davies’ cross was diverted into the top corner off the toe of Rotherham defender Angus MacDonald.

The Millers levelled through Matt Crooks who turned in at the near post after Michael Smith had dispossessed Danny Batth.

Smith put Rotherham in front early in the second half as he got to a scramble in the six-yard box first to nod in.

Stoke’s response was swift with Batth heading in from Nick Powell’s looping cross to the back post.

Rotherham fought back again and nudged back ahead only five minutes later with Crooks clinically smashing in a loose ball in the penalty area.

But they were pegged back again with Powell nodding past Jamal Blackman after James McClean had made an instant impact from the bench.

Crooks missed a trio of chances to net his hat-trick and seal the points but lacked the composure he showed for his earlier strikes.

Warne, who was in charge of his 200th game of the Millers, said: “I really enjoyed it and it’s sad the fans weren’t in. Both sets of fans would have really enjoyed it. Both teams weren’t settling for a draw.

“I always ask the lads to leave everything out on the pitch and they did. I’ve no complaints.

“The longer the game went on they just kept freshening it up. There were no complaints from me about the goals we’ve conceded.

“Our second-half performance was really good. I am really proud of the fact I manage them because they were amazing.

“Overall it was a really good team performance and although they didn’t get three points it’s one they should be really proud of.”

Stoke manager Michael O’Neill bemoaned his side’s poor defending.

he said: “Each of the goals we lost were really poor. We outlined to the players what they would be dealing with.

“We didn’t defend the box and played against a team who are very direct and honest. If you look at the nature of the goals, we gave the ball away in a bad area for the first. The second and third people haven’t competed at a second ball.

“It’s about making the right decisions. At times we caused our own problems.

“Ten draws is too many and we felt in a number of those games we’ve given up the opportunity to win. We are on a run at the minute of too many draws but we are trying to get out of it.”