The impact made by Rotherham United’s substitutes eventually told in the later stages of our Papa John’s Trophy defeat at the Mornflake Stadium but boss David Artell was evidently pleased to have taken some positives from the game in terms of individual performances.
Defender Connor O’Riordan enhanced his growing reputation with another mature performance at the back and there was a debut for forward Connor Sailsbury when he was introduced in the dying minutes as Crewe chased the game.
David Artell told the club’s official website that Rotherham’s strength in depth proved the difference in the end after his side had battled back to level the tie at 2-2 with just over 20 minutes remaining. The changes by his close friend, Paul Warne, saw Ogbene, Ladapo, Kayode, Ferguson and Rathbone all enter the fray and turn the tie back in the Millers favour.
Artell told crewealex.net: “Rotherham could bring on more of their big guns if you like and in the end that proved the difference. That is what got them their victory in the last ten minutes.
“They had the luxury of bringing on a player that has cost them £500,000 and we had an 18-year-old making his debut. That is the difference but that is the level we are at.
“That is just an example and I thought young Connor Sailsbury looked lively when he came on. I am never going to knock a number 9 from having a shot from 30 yards and he did fine on the ball, but you can see the strength Rotherham have and that is why they are top of the league and why they were a Championship club up until last season.”