PNE facing far-from-merry Millers
Rotherham probably did not know whether to laugh or cry after bringing their losing run to an end at Ipswich last week.
After seven defeats on the spin, the Millers – who host Preston on Saturday – put a point on the board thanks to a 2-2 draw with Ipswich.
But they were 10 seconds away from making it all three, conceding right at the death.
Kenny Jackett, three games into his reign after getting the Rotherham job last month, chose to look on the result in a positive way, rather than rue the two dropped.
“It is glass half-empty or glass half-full, depending how you want to look at it,” said Jackett.
“The best way to look at it is half-full, but we’re aiming for completely full.”
Midfielder Will Vaulks took a similar view to his new boss, pleased to stop the rot but left to rue the late leveller from David McGoldrick.
Vaulks said: “Sometimes, you just have to say it’s a great finish.
“We have to dust ourselves down and keep going, like we have since the new manager’s come in, and hopefully get a win against Preston.
“This is a good base to build on. It might not have felt like that at Ipswich, it felt like we should have won the game.
“But we needed to stop being beaten, and we did that.
“We showed a bit of character and I think the dressing room will benefit from that.”
Jackett was appointed as Millers boss on October 21, succeeding Alan Stubbs who had only been in the job since the start of June.
Stubbs, who had been lured away from Hibernian, won just one game – against Brentford in August.
So the call went out to the experienced Jackett, sacked by Wolves in July but very much required at the New York Stadium.
He had enjoyed having a clear midweek to work with his squad on the training pitch ahead of PNE’s visit.
Said Jackett: “It’s been a chance to work with the players, get my message across. It’s a hard-running league. I talk about set-pieces, I talk about hard running, I talk about physicality.
“We have to get those basics first and then, after that, play the football we want on top.”
Not surprisingly for a team at the bottom of the table, the Millers have leaked most goals in the Championship – 35.
They have scored 16 at the other end, front man Danny Ward netting half of them.
“Eight is a fantastic return,” Jackett said of Ward who was signed from Huddersfield Town in January after a loan spell.
“He is a threat. We need to be utilising his pace, keeping him fit and making sure he keeps scoring goals for us.”
Much of Jackett’s work has been focused on keeping the goals out.
Midfielder Vaulks, signed from Falkirk by former boss Stubbs, said: “We’ve done a lot of shape-work and trying to get ourselves organised – to stop conceding.
“The manager has really put his mark on it and the way he wants to do it. We’re all buying into it…he’s very experienced.
You can see from the sides he’s put out already that he wants to go with a bit more experience which is probably what we need at the moment.”
Jackett added to the squad soon after his appointment, bringing free agent Peter Odemwingie to Yorkshire.
The 35-year-old striker, who previously played for West Bromwich, Stoke and Cardiff, made his debut as a substitute at Ipswich.