RR: That must have been a real sucker punch, to concede like you did. I never saw us scoring, even despite ramping up the pressure...
NYT: A huge kick in the gut. We had looked so comfortable all night at the back limiting Sunderland, our keeper having no shots to save and just one mistake takes two points away from us at such a crucial time of the season. I agree that I could not see Sunderland scoring other than maybe a set piece or a mistake, and unfortunately the later came.
RR: What are your overall thoughts on the game though. Was it a fair result in the end, as Alex Neil suggested?
NYT: We did enough to win the game, except putting the ball in the back of your net again. Our set pieces were a threat every single time, we were first to most calls and second to nearly everything else. I think a Millers win would have been the fairest result, I don’t think 2/3-0 scoreline would have been unfair. But we only have ourselves to blame, if you don’t take your chances and make a mistake you are likely to get punished like we did.
RR: Rotherham looked very good to me, even despite coming into the game on the back of some indifferent form. Did it pan out as you expected, or were you hoping that you’d get the job done on the night to basically secure promotion?
NYT: We all know how tough League One is this season, and going away to any of the top six or seven is going to be a tough ask. Add into that how poor our away form had been recently and how good your recent form had been I was worried going into the game, but that all worry disappeared almost as soon as the game got going. We started on the front foot and didn’t allow you to settle putting pressure on everyone. You could see how much the players wanted it playing without pressure, and that is key going into the final game.
RR: What did you make of how Rotherham set up tactically? Did it work in your opinion?
NYT: We had made a slight change in formation in our last game to a 3-4-2-1 which worked very well against Oxford, so we kept the same set up. We had our pressing game back which we seemed to have lost over the past few months, and it stopped any rhythm Sunderland had been trying to build. That formation allowed us to put Chieo Ogbene and Ben Wiles further forward, getting us in between the lines to cause problems, which they did very well.
RR: What did you think of how Sunderland played? Were you expecting more or less based on what you saw?
NYT: It is probably because of how well we played, but I was surprised at the lack of challenge we had in key areas of the pitch. We look a threat from most of our attacks and without us helping I don’t think you would have scored. Sometimes the way teams play don’t suit a team, and based on the two games this season it looks like the way we play really stunts your strengths.
RR: This means that you now don’t know where your fate lies - it’s all going down to the final weekend of the season. What’s your gut feeling on how it all plays out?
NYT: Before Saturday I was worried that we had lost our mojo and thought the automatics were looking like they could be slipping through our hands. But Saturday was very good and so was Tuesday, so my confidence has risen again. If we play like that on Saturday we will be too much for Gillingham, and we could even yet get the title, but as our recent form has shown that is not a given. My gut feeling is we will get over the line in second place.
RR: If you do end up in the play-offs, do you think you’ll win it?
NYT: That would depend on who we got. If we got Wycombe I would be worried because the way they play never seems to suit us. I think I would be happy to take anyone else in the playoffs, though. Our playoff record is pretty good winning our last two playoff campaigns. Also Paul Warne is an excellent motivator and has that experience of winning the playoffs with this club, so that will be important for us as well.