Deputy Editor Oscar Frost reports from St Andrew’s as Wayne Rooney’s Blues were held to a frustrating goalless draw with Wayne Carlisle’s Rotherham

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.
Images by Oscar Frost

The final score was 0-0 at St Andrew’s in the battle of the Waynes, with Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham City taking on Wayne Carlisle’s Rotherham.

The clash really did not have as much heat as would be expected from two clubs that could both be in a relegation battle come the end of the season.

The only match that remained goalless in the whole Championship, neither side could find a cutting edge on the night.

“It wasn’t a good game” commented Blues manager Wayne Rooney, who said that “we started well for 20 minutes, but for some reason we went sloppy,” complaining about there being “no tempo in the game.”

“There are a lot of things for me to address” continued Rooney, as he saw that “The basics of the game were not there today.”

On a more positive note, Rooney sang the praises of Jordan James, who displayed “great leadership” at the ripe age of 19.

“The players are very aware of the expectations I have for them,” and it seems as though he wanted a senior player to step up and show some leadership qualities.

The most exciting moment in the match came for the home side as Jay Stansfield slotted past Viktor Johansson, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

The players are very aware of the expectations I have for them

It gave the fans something to shout about, albeit for a few choice seconds.

It was Wayne Carlisle’s half-time talk that had more immediate effect after a slow first 45 minutes, with captain Oliver Rathbone coming ever so close to scoring within two minutes of the restart. John Ruddy was caught in possession on the six-yard line, but the Rotherham player’s effort was blocked heroically on the line by Dion Sanderson.

That captain-on-captain action characterised the match, with neither side quite being able to produce the final product on the cold night in B9.

Wayne Carlisle’s position as Rotherham’s caretaker manager is an unstable one in some ways, but he commented that “I’ve got a job to do,” and he will “try to win games of football until someone tells me not to do it.”

Carlisle continued that he “wanted a reaction after the Hull game,” where they lost 4-1, and he was “delighted that Rotherham were creating chances away from home.”

The 24 shots in total, equally shared by the two sides, should not fool you, as Rathbone’s was the closest chance by a long way.

“Once we got to grips with their shapes, they did not cause us too many problems,” commented Carlisle in a post-match interview.

Neither side could break the deadlock in a very cagey first 45 minutes. Despite both having some joy from the right-hand side, especially through Miyoshi for the home side, neither could create any clear chances before the break.

Both sides were on a bad run of form coming into the fixture, with the Blues looking for their second victory in a turbulent Wayne Rooney tenure so far. After conceding four at Ewood park against Blackburn last time out in the Championship, it was clear that points would be needed to secure a safe position after the Christmas period.

With Huddersfield coming away with a point at Swansea, the visitors remain in 23rd place, seven points behind the Terriers.

The Blues jump to 15th place, tied with Norwich on 22 points, with a tantalising derby day clash with Coventry on Friday.

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