League One round-up: why Oxford's pre-match actions helped fire Rotherham top as Paul Lambert claims people want Ipswich to 'fail'

Paul Warne revealed Oxford’s pre-match actions helped fire Rotherham to the summit of League One.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 12th January 2020, 2:28 pm

The Millers delivered a 3-1 victory at their promotion rivals on Saturday, which moved them top of the table on goal difference.

Kyle Vassell was at the double and Richard Wood scored for the Yorkshire side.

Warne revealed when Rotherham arrived at the Kassam Stadium, they found the entrance door locked.

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And as the boss surveyed the match-day programme, one U's player claimed Karl Robinson’s men were the best side in the third tier.

Both of those factors were used in his team talk – and it paid off.

Warne told the Yorkshire Post: ‘I read one of their players in the programme saying how they think they're the best team in the league, so that was great, that was my team talk.

‘The stadium was locked when we got here, we couldn't get in, so that was my team-talk done. So, that was good, that fired the lads up a treat.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Picture: Graham Hunt

‘We just had to knock and wait for someone to come and unlock the door which is unheard of. I've never seen that in professional football.

‘I would like to think that it hasn't been done on purpose but I used it in my team talk as if it had been.

‘In fairness, I don't think that our performance was down to a locked door. It was the fact that we'd been planning it all week, we've been working on it and the lads were really motivated to do well.

‘We sent them out and the first-half performance was enough to win a game.’

Meanwhile, Gareth Ainsworth had no complaints as Wycombe were put to the sword by Sunderland and dropped to second.

Chris Maguire’s brace and goals from Charlie Wyke and Denver Hume delivered the Black Cats a thumping 4-0 win and moved into the play-off places.

The Chairboys are now winless in five games and have been dragged back into the promotion tussle having had a seven-point lead before Christmas.

But Ainsworth heaped praise on an ‘outstanding’ Sunderland display.

He said: ‘It was a difficult afternoon made more difficult by an outstanding Sunderland performance.

‘Phil has done a magnificent job getting a system that works and with players in to work it. You've got to give him credit.

‘It was a tough afternoon for Wycombe but Sunderland away is a tough afternoon for many clubs and I think we'll be one of many who come here and struggle.

‘We were second best at a lot of things today but we were made second best, there's some superb footballers here and fans who get right behind the team.’

Darren Ferguson thought windy conditions helped Gillingham as Peterborough were held to a goalless draw at London Road.

The Posh have now dropped to ninth and are two points outside the play-offs.

Ferguson said: ‘There is a big lack of confidence throughout the team and whenever we threatened to get some momentum we couldn’t keep it up because we’d give away a soft free-kick or we’d let the ball run under our foot.

‘I knew we were in for a tough game because of the way Gillingham play. They make life tough for opponents and I have to say the very strong windy conditions suited them.

‘They knock the ball long, try to win set-pieces and just get the ball into the penalty area as often as possible.

‘Apart from a couple of headed chances late in the first half when they hit the bar they didn’t create much. It was pressure rather than good chances to score, but we couldn’t get anything going ourselves.’

Paul Lambert reckons some people who want Ipswich to ‘fail’ after they picked up their first success in nine league game with a 4-1 triumph over Accrington at Portman Road.

He told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘I think people want us to fail, without a doubt.

‘The football club is not used to this pressure to win all the time. “We have to win, we have to win, we have to win”.

‘The guys are not used to it, the guys are young guys, some are experienced, but it's the first time in a long while that the pressure is on to try and do something.

‘There are two different pressures to winning a title to staying in a division. Two totally different things.’

Other results

Bristol Rovers 0-2 Doncaster Rovers, Burton 1-0 Fleetwood, Coventry 1-1 MK Dons, Rochdale 2-0 Bolton, Shrewsbury 1-1 Lincoln, Southend 0-0 Tranmere.