Rotherham boss Matt Taylor is confident he can turn things around after his side’s dismal start to the season continued with a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Bristol City, but accepts results have to improve.
Tommy Conway’s goal in the sixth minute of time added on inflicted a seventh loss from the Millers’ opening 10 games, which is their worst start to a Championship season since 2004/05.
It looked like Taylor’s side, who are ravaged by injuries, would earn a point after Tyler Blackett’s 86th-minute strike had cancelled out Conway’s opener five minutes before.
But they left empty-handed, with Taylor, who celebrated one year in charge on Tuesday, knowing things have to change.
“You can’t afford to keep getting beat,” he said. “The manner of tonight’s defeat, if you are going to get beat, get beat by giving it everything and showing you are good enough to compete at the level.
“There have been a few away games where we have not shown enough of that which is frustrating. But you have to believe that A) you are good enough as a manager and B) your players are good enough.
“But when your best players aren’t available it is an incredible job and an incredible task. It has got an awful lot harder on the back of tonight.
“Like I keep saying to the players you can’t lose heart, confidence and will, if the supporters do that’s down to them, I understand that to a certain extent, but if there is anything this club is about it’s about standing up and showing a bit of character and fight and sticking together as well.
“It’s understanding that Championship level football for Rotherham is a hell of an achievement, it was a hell of an achievement last season and what we are up against is an absolute beast and it keeps on taking big chunks out of us.
“But we are still alive. We are 10 games in and still showing signs of brightness in certain moments and no one else will be thinking of Rotherham right now. I am looking forward to what we can achieve at the weekend because I still believe in this group of players.”
For the opening 81 minutes it was a forgettable encounter, with just one shot on target, before it burst into life with Conway’s opener.
Robins boss Nigel Pearson was pleased with the outcome rather than his side’s performance.
“What you have always got to do is keep alive in the game,” he said. “It is a good illustration of it being a squad game tonight, Tommy coming off the bench and scoring two quality goals.
“We were mugged at the weekend. They will be feeling a bit down, it wasn’t a game of a lot of quality but the important thing is we won a scrappy game.
“Tonight we have come away from home and got three points at a ground which is tough to come to at times.
“It is good for the players to come away with a quality result, especially having conceded a late equaliser.
“A good day but we are not kidding ourselves. Credit to the players they were prepared to keep going, a good night in the end, but it didn’t feel like it for much of the night.”