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Paul Warne ‘really proud’ to have Richard Wood as Rotherham’s captain

Sky Bet Championship 2022-2023 Preview
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Rotherham manager Paul Warne hailed Richard Wood for continuing to defy the critics as the skipper netted twice in their 2-0 win over Birmingham.

The veteran defender, who turned 37 over the summer, netted in either half as Rotherham’s unbeaten start to life back in the Sky Bet Championship continued.

The Millers, who also had a penalty saved, were good value for victory against John Eustace’s men, who were booed off at the break by their large travelling support.

Rotherham went in front on 28 minutes with Wood powering in at the near post from Dan Barlaser’s cross.

The goal buoyed the Millers and they had more opportunities to go further ahead with Chiedozie Ogbene slicing wide from Cohen Bramall’s cross and Ben Wiles firing over the top after being set up by Ogbene.

Birmingham needed to improve in the second half and an early chance fell to Scott Hogan but he was denied at the near post by Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham had the perfect chance to secure the victory on 62 minutes when Ogbene won them a penalty after being fouled by Marc Roberts.

Barlaser opted to go down the middle from the spot but John Ruddy’s trailing leg denied the midfielder.

It was Barlaser who made the second goal with Wood again on the end of his cross to bundle past Ruddy on 71 minutes.

Any hopes of a late rally from the visitors were dashed when Hogan hooked wide late on after nudging Wood off the ball.

Warne said: “I thought we were really good from the start. I can’t have many complaints. We caused Birmingham a lot of problems.

“Overall, I don’t think many people could leave the stadium and not think we were deserved winners. It doesn’t feel like I have loads of problems.

“I am really pleased with the lads. They are just a really good group and, when you’re winning games, everything is rosy. I am really pleased with the start. Winning at this level is always hard.

“I could wax lyrical about Woody all day. He was a player here when I was the fitness coach. Every year people write him off but that has been happening for six years.

“It’s just lovely to watch. I get emotional when Woody scores because it means a lot to him. I am really proud to have him as our captain.

“Missing the penalty I have no issue with. Dan will probably take the next penalty because he’s a great penalty taker.”

Birmingham head coach Eustace said: “We are really disappointed in the result. We frustrated them for the first 25 minutes. I felt we were okay and not under any pressure.

“We knew they are very good on set-pieces. We worked very hard on that this week. So to concede the way we did was very, very frustrating. Goals change games. We got in at half-time 1-0, which we were relieved with.

“The two goals that we conceded could have been stopped. It’s about defending the box with your lives and we did not do that.”

Eustace said he needs reinforcements ahead of the transfer window closing.

He added: “We need to improve the squad but until that happens we need to get on with it.

“Everyone can see the squad does need help. It’s a very difficult job bringing players in.”

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