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Paul Warne proud of players as Rotherham take survival fight to the wire

Barnsley v Rotherham United – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Isaac Parkin)

Rotherham manager Paul Warne spoke of his pride after the Millers took control of their destiny in the Championship relegation dogfight after netting a late leveller against Blackburn.

United boosted their survival hopes with Lewis Wing blasting in a low free-kick to make it 1-1 and earn his side a vital point with just four minutes left on the clock.

At one stage during the game, Rotherham were mathematically relegated but Swansea’s win over Derby has ensured who drops into League One will go down to the wire.

Warne’s men play their game in hand away to Luton on Tuesday ahead of the league’s finale next weekend.

A win at Kenilworth Road would lift them out of the drop zone, above Derby on goal difference, and hand them the advantage on what promises to be a nerve-jangling final day of the season.

Warne, whose side had lost their previous five matches, praised his players for coming through a hectic schedule of 10 games in 30 days and remaining in the fight.

He said: “I am proud of them as a group. The season is still alive and we go in with a bit of hope.

“I thought we started the game really well but we gifted them a goal and it’s not League One or League Two. Those players don’t really miss those chances.

“I felt the players lacked a little bit of belief. They have licked their wounds so many times this season but we fought back.

“After 90 minutes I was happy with the point because if we had lost it, it would have been a hammer-blow.”

Rovers took the lead in the first half when Adam Armstrong netted his 26th goal of the season after robbing Angus MacDonald of the ball and sliding past Jamal Blackman.

But he and his team-mates spurned a host of chances to secure the three points with Blackman denying him twice and Bradley Johnson with strong saves.

Rotherham’s hopes looked like they were fading but Wing smashed in the one big chance that fell their way.

Warne added: “Jamal pulled a lot of saves off. I thought we looked jaded. A lot of the players have played so many minutes. To play 10 games in 30 days is some feat. Blackburn have talent all over the pitch so it’s not a level playing field without the fatigue.

“The lads kept going. They are determined to maintain their Championship status and we live to fight another day. ”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray was not happy with his team’s efforts in front of goal.

He said: “I think we are frustrated we didn’t win by a lot of goals.

“I felt like it should have been four at half-time as a minimum and it could have been any number at the end. Late on we were still creating chances.

“The team played alright but didn’t take their chances. You can’t have those one-on-ones and free headers at the back stick and not take them.

“The percentage of goals scored from the chances we created hasn’t been as high as we would have liked it to be.

“We know when you come to Rotherham what you are facing and what you have to see out. You just have to be more clinical and ultimately we missed too many good chances.

“Their goal should have been irrelevant.”