RUFC - Why didn't we go up?
Rotherham United ended in, what I suppose will be thought of as a respectable, tenth place in League Two this season, which was a place lower than last season, although with a point more.
Millers fans were expecting so much more at the start of this season - a youngish manager at the helm, bringing in his own players and forming his own team. It all started so well, top of the league at the end of August and Andy Scott named Manager of the Month - so what went wrong?
September wasn't too bad a month although the last game was a four-nil defeat at Don Valley against Southend. But I think it was the five-two defeat at the Memorial Stadium against Bristol Rovers was where it all started to go wrong. Three-nil down in the first twenty minutes and then on-loan defender Guy Branston seeing red for a poor challenge it just wasn't our night.
But there were more nights and afternoon's to come like that one and, at the end of January we were in thirteenth spot. But, that was the lowest we got and we began to crawl our way back up the table again.
On 17th March we lost at Oxford and two days later, Andy Scott was sacked. Darren Patterson took over and we won four of the five games he was in charge and had moved up to tenth in the league with there being still a chance, although slim, of a play-off spot.
Steve Evans took over and had just four games to asses the players in the squad while still striving to get the Millers into the play-offs. As we know, that didn't happen, though not many of us would be that surprised if we are being truthful.
When Andy Scott was at the helm he kept telling us that he 'had money to spend' on players but we saw little evidence of him using this money as he kept fetching in loan player after loan player. Let's just suppose a couple of those loan players had been signed players - would it have made a difference? Well, I think it could have done. Never being a fan of loaning players out because I believe a majority of players are sent out on loan for a reason and they play as individuals and not necessary for the team. Why should they? They are there so they can be 'spotted' after all.
So, with maybe a couple of signings who wanted to wear the badge and we might have been up there. If we'd managed to hang onto Alfie until January, maybe that might have helped too. A few more decisions going our way, a few more of the shots-on-goal actually going in …. it's all 'what ifs' and no one can possibly know what might have happened.
For four years we've been hearing how it would be to walk out into a brand new stadium in the Championship/the First Division well, here we are going into a brand new stadium and still in League Two - of course, it could have been a lot worse scenario.
For me to end up in a play-off spot would have been OK, but not what I was expecting, so to end up not even doing that is, I suppose a bit of a poor season. On the other hand, it's not been a depressing season - we haven't gone down, we have money in the bank and we've got one of the top scorers in the League in Lewis Grabban.
Why didn't we go up? Well, I'm darned if I know but if you have any ideas then come and tell us here on Vital Rotherham because we'd love to hear them.
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