Rotherham boss Paul Warne hails attacking duo ahead of Fratton Park fixture - including ex-Portsmouth target Freddie Ladapo
Rotherham boss Paul Warne hailed the impact of Kyle Vassell and former Pompey target Freddie Ladapo as the duo inspired a come-from-behind win at MK Dons on Saturday.
The Millers travel to Fratton Park on Tuesday night for their rearranged league fixture against the Blues.
But at Stadium:MK they looked set to make the south coast trip with defeat on their minds.
They trailed 2-0 at the break, with former Pompey loanee Joe Mason among the hosts’ scorers as the front man netted his first goal in 18 months.
Warne introduced forward pair Vassell – who hadn’t featured since August because of injury – and Ladapo at the break in an attempt to rescue the situation.
And it had the desired impact, with the duo helping initiate a 3-2 win
That included two goals from Ladapo – a player the Blues looked like signing in the summer, until they withdrew their interest.
Warne was delighted with their second-half influence as the Millers moved up to fourth in the table ahead of their visit to Pompey.
‘Vass and Freddie were a constant thorn when they came on,’ Warne told themillers.co.uk.
‘Vass was unbelievable. The lads trust him. He demands a lot from people on the pitch.
‘Everything that was good about us in the second half came through him and he will be really pleased.
‘I’ve been singing his praises for weeks and it was nice to put him on.
‘Vass’ delivery was excellent. You have to put the ball in areas to attack and he did that. I’m exhausted but really pleased.’
The Blues’ next League One fixture after the visit of Rotherham will be against Peterborough on Saturday, December 7 – also at Fratton Park.
After three third-tier games without a victory, the Posh returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win against Burton.
Joe Ward's stunning half-volley in stoppage-time handed the London Road side the three points.
Afterwards, manager Darren Ferguson hailed the character shown by his side.
He told the Peterborough Telegraph: ‘Apart from the goal, there wasn’t a lot of quality.
‘But my goodness what a shift the boys put in. Any team in League One would miss the three big players we had missing so I knew we would have to grind the result out.
‘And that’s exactly what we did. We defended very well to nullify a very good passing side and we looked more of a threat ourselves the longer the game went on.
‘It was important we won after two defeats in a row when we didn’t play well and we needed to keep our strong form at home going.’
Wycombe stretched their lead at the top thanks to a 1-0 win at home to Doncaster.
Meanwhile, Benji Kimpioka rescued a late point for Sunderland as they drew 1-1 with Coventry.
That sees the Black Cats drop to 10th in the table – two points above Pompey.
But manger Phil Parkinson was delighted his side persevered, after former Blues loanee Dominic Hyam gave the Sky Blues a 26th-minute lead.
Parkinson told the Sunderland Echo: I was pleased we kept going, showed bravery to keep playing and that is really important.
‘We went a goal down at home, had some pressure on us because of the cups.
‘But no-one shied away from receiving the ball, the moment came for us and the team’s effort and bravery to keep playing deserved that moment.’
Other results: Accrington 7-1 Bolton, Wimbledon 1-0 Gillingham, Fleetwood 2-1 Tranmere, Ipswich 2-2 Blackpool, Shrewsbury 3-4 Bristol Rovers, Southend 0-4 Oxford.