England

Rotherham United: Semi Ajayi deserves another chance despite mistakes

Millers fans must have thought that their winless away streak, that has lasted for over a year, was going to end against Peterborough this weekend following a confidence-boosting 5-0 thrashing of Southend.

However, this was not the case when the South Yorkshire side travelled to Peterborough’s ABAX Stadium.

Peterborough’s Jack Marriott scored for the hosts before towering Rotherham striker Kieffer Moore equalised with a bullet header.

The jubilation for the over a thousand Millers that made the trip wasn’t to last, as just minutes later Rotherham conceded again. Another goal from Jack Marriott came courtesy of a big mistake from Rotherham centre-back Semi Ajayi, who perhaps should have cleared the ball rather than trying to control it,enabling Marriott to slot the ball past ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell.

Despite Ajayi being the key catalyst for Marriott’s goal, he has actually majorly impressed the Rotherham faithful since arriving at the club on a permanent deal in March.

Throughout the fixture against Peterborough, every time the 6ft 4 defender made a challenge, the Millers supporters sang out his name, recognising the talent that they have.

But it was pethaps a déjà vu moment for Rotherham as Ajayi had made a similar mistake in Rotherham’s 2-1 win over League Two side Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup. Again the 23-year-old was encouraged to blast the ball into the stands but instead mis-controlled the ball and gifted it to Lincoln midfielder Billy Knott.

These mistakes have perhaps happened too often and it seems that Millers manager Paul Warne has given the centre-back a final warning:

“I’ve told him he needs to learn from his mistakes. It’s not the first time it’s happened. He needs to get that out of his game and get it out very quickly.”

Rotherham have experienced centre-backs Aimen Belaid and Richard Wood waiting on the side-lines for a first-team spot should Ajayi be dropped.

However, more often than not, Ajayi has got the job done in defence and has seen a positive partnership blossom with fellow centre-back Michael Ihiekwe. I am sure that he will change this aspect of his game for the better and will have learnt from his mistakes.

Rotherham United make the relatively short trip to Huddersfield Town on Wednesday for their Carabao Cup clash.

Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport
Featured image: George Sanders

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