Another slow start and a game with a lack of opportunities for the whites was thankfully rescued in the dying minutes of the game. It’s annoying that we don’t truly show up until the latter stages of the 2nd half in recent matches but a point is a point. Hopefully this draw can be used as a springboard to push on for a stronger performance against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. Who did themselves justice to start on Wednesday though and who damaged their chances?
Here are my Player Ratings:
Ben Alnwick - 6.5
Coming back in for Remi Matthews after his injury, Alnwick had another one of his consistently solid performances. A couple decent saves and quick distribution to start counter attacks in the 2nd half showed why he’s our current number one. His kicking was a bit more wayward than usual though and there could be a case for bad positioning and being slow to get down to prevent their free-kick but that’s up for debate. Overall though, the standard solid game for Ben.
Pawel Olkowski - 6.0
I love Pawel and I still maintain he’s one of the best, if not the best, right back in the league but he didn’t live up to that moniker today. His attacking impetus was quickly nullified by Rotherham and on a couple occasions he gave possession cheaply by running into the opposition or his passing not finding its mark. Thankfully, he did a decent job winning it back a few times and making some strong tackles in defence.
Jack Hobbs - 6.5
Had a tough time against the huge Matt Smith but still pulled off some strong headers and remained calm in possession. Didn’t let himself get beaten easily and quickly got in to cover his teammates in defence. Decent game for Hobbs.
David Wheater - 6.5
Copy and paste Jack Hobbs for Wheater. The captain had trouble dealing with Smith too as well as the pace of their wingers when they cut in. Rotherham’s quick passing movement didn’t deter Wheats though who made some strong challenges and blocks to keep us conceding as little as possible.
Marc Wilson - 4.5
Awful game for Wilson. Constantly put the team in trouble by being slow to clear the ball and doing a poor job stagnating the attacking Rotherham players. Some poor passing, limp tackling and looked the weak point in our defence the entire game. Did a better job at left-back when the formation changed but otherwise did not help his chances of starting against Forest.
Lloyd Dyer - 6.0
The man who never smiles in pictures did fine in his first start for Bolton. Had some trouble dealing with the quick movements of their winger and notably tired in the 2nd half but did some good work to carry the ball forward and cover his teammates in defence. Doesn’t have the turn of pace he once had but his Championship experience covered for that loss on Saturday. Not a bad start for Lloyd.
Gary O’Neil - 6.0
Didn’t really have too much time before limping off the field. Did what he had to for the time he was on the pitch and no notable errors. Hope it’s nothing serious Gary.
Jason Lowe - 6.0
Some decent tackling and made himself constantly available to pass to in the midfield. Fought for everything and tried to keep things ticking over when Rotherham were clearly in the ascendancy in the first half. Referees still don’t like him but he’s did what he was brought in to and made himself a nuisance for Rotherham’s attackers and never stopped running. Just wish he would be more willing to take that running forward.
Joe Williams - 6.5
He’s still terrible at shooting and has a tendency to make a silly unnecessary pass but hopefully those creases will continue to be ironed out the more he plays because as per usual, his defensive work was very solid. His dribbling, when he kept his calm and didn’t try to rush himself, caused some trouble for Rotherham as well. Definitely has something magic in his locker that needs to be properly honed for him to be his most effective.
Josh Magennis - 5.5
Had some trouble with the pacier centre-backs in trying to retrieve the ball and his headed passes are still annoyingly inaccurate. His strength came through on occasion though with some decent hold up play and a very close headed effort. Didn’t do too and when shifted to right wing later in the 2nd half either. Finally, let’s address the penalty. He should never have taken it. While he didn’t hit it too badly, placing it close to the post, he made it too obvious where he was going with his body-language. I’d put Clayton on it myself. Regardless, frustrating day for Josh Magennis, whose starting place is seriously under threat.
Clayton Donaldson - 7.0
His first league start yielded a strong performance from the Championship veteran. While he didn’t get the chance to shoot at goal, his constant running and his tall, lean figure lended itself for him to be a regular nuisance to their back line and I don’t remember him giving away cheap possession once. He did a lovely job setting up the goal and him and Christian Doidge look good together. Made a very good case to start on Wednesday.
Josh Vela - 6.5
More like the Vela we came to expect from League One. Got the ball forward when he could and covered very well in his defensive duties. Rotherham struggled with him a bit and if Josh can harness this performance a bit more often, he can easily get himself back into the starting XI. Another player who made a good case to start against Forest.
Yanic Wildschut - 6.0
His pace is always a nightmare for whoever he comes up against and he’s never afraid to attack. All good qualities. It feel like he disappears from the game when he doesn’t do that though. He hangs so far on the periphery and it’s frustrating that he doesn’t make more effort to get the ball back. Was trouble for Rotherham when he did have it though so a 6 seems fair.
Christian Doidge - 7.0
The million pound man opened his account in fine fashion, showing the killer instinct to shoot as soon as he made it towards the box. I genuinely don’t think anyone else in our team would’ve put that away if they were in his position. He’s clearly a natural finisher and ran around constantly, eager to get on the ball when we were on the attack. Another who made a very strong case to start and the man I would personally say has to start against Forest.