Revitalised Rotherham United Could Continue to Steer Clear of Relegation Battle

Rotherham United

Rotherham United look a revitalised Championship outfit and are continuing to make significant progress in their pursuit of avoiding a relegation dogfight. The Millers have picked up 13 points in their last six games and have emerged as the division’s third most in-form side, with only high-flyers Brentford and Swansea City picking up more points since mid-January.

Rotherham’s latest 2-1 win at Preston North End saw the club escape the dreaded relegation zone and move into 20th position, whilst still possessing two games in hand on the majority of their relegation-threatened counterparts.

Revitalised Rotherham United Could Continue to Move Away From Relegation Battle

Millers Proving to Be More Clinical

A disappointing 2-1 defeat against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley in the last game of 2020 proved to be a turning point for the Millers, who have scored 13 goals in the most recent six games, averaging 2.17 goals a game. However, in their previous 20 games, the Championship club averaged just 0.95 goal per game, with their ability to find the back of the net a cause for concern for boss Paul Warne.

It is not just the usual suspects who have been contributing to their recent improvement in the final third, with nine of the 13 goals coming from midfield and defence.

Continuing to Beat Those Around Them

Ensuring that a club beats the teams around them is a very positive sign in football and is something that Rotherham are excelling at. In five games against the four teams below them, the Millers have picked up four wins and a draw, scoring nine times and conceding just the single goal – a statistic that bodes well for Rotherham should they find themselves in a relegation battle come the end of the season.

Within their recent upturn in form, they have managed to secure two vital wins against Derby County, who had looked to have been distancing themselves from the struggling pack. However, the Rams now sit above the relegation zone on goal difference, with their ongoing goal-scoring problems continuing to halt their progress.

Rotherham Need to Improve Form Against the Top Six

In seven games against the division’s top six, Rotherham have only managed to secure a single point. And, whilst they seem dominant against the teams in and around them, they will need to pick up their form against the Championship’s best if they are to steer clear of relegation.

In the next six weeks, Rotherham will play their remaining five games against the Championship’s top six, and should be a lot more confident coming into these games, since their improved 2021 form. However, the Millers now have 11 games in the next 39 days, putting emphasis on squad rotation and keeping a fully fit squad to the best of their ability.

Smart January Recruitment Will Only Boost Survival Hopes

Not only are Rotherham the best performing side in the bottom half of the Championship at present, but they have also added two Championship-standard individuals to their ranks in pursuit of avoiding a relegation scrap come May.

In late January, Ryan Giles became the Millers’ first signing of the window, joining on loan from Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 21-year-old spent the first half of the season with fellow Championship strugglers Coventry City before being recalled and sent to Rotherham the very next day. Giles emerged as a regular starter for the Sky Blues before Christmas but saw his first-team opportunities diminish in late December.

The left-sided player has had an instant impact at his new club, scoring twice in just 134 minutes of football. Since his arrival, Rotherham have netted nine times in four games, winning three out of the four games and subsequently helping the Millers escape the relegation zone.

On deadline day, Middlesbrough midfielder Lewis Wing became the second player to arrive at the New York Stadium. The 25-year-old also joined on a loan deal and, like Giles, was someone that the club wanted to integrate into the first-team setup imminently.

Wing made his debut from the bench in Rotherham’s 3-0 win over Derby County on February 3 before starting three days later in their 2-1 win at Deepdale. The central midfielder also made a contributing impact on his debut, assisting the eventual winner for his new side.

Rotherham United Have a Favourable Run-In

Statistically speaking, Rotherham have the most favourable run-in out of the clubs in the bottom six. The average points of their remaining opponents per game sits at 1.37 and is 0.04 higher than the next lowest club in Derby.

It seems that this comparatively low figure will drastically decrease too, given that they are playing the five of the top six in the next six weeks.

But, as seen in last season’s Championship, form goes completely out of the window during a relegation battle. Barnsley and Luton Town looked destined for the Championship drop before they both ended the season in play-off form.


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