18 March 2023

Rotherham boss Matt Taylor felt referee was right to abandon Cardiff clash

18 March 2023

Rotherham manager Matt Taylor felt the right call was made to call off their clash with Cardiff as players would have been put at risk of serious injury.

The match was postponed with just two-and-a-half minutes played in the second half.

Cardiff were ahead 1-0 thanks to a fifth-minute strike from Jaden Philogene, but a half-time downpour quickly made the pitch unplayable.

Referee Oliver Langford called the match off after two inspections alongside Rotherham manager Matt Taylor and Cardiff boss Sabri Lamouchi.

Cardiff refused to do a post-match press conference, but Taylor said: “I was so busy at half-time trying to get some information and tactical changes to the group that it was only when one of the coaches came in and told the players to check their footwear that I realised it had started to rain.

“I didn’t realise it had rained that hard. It was incredible and it wasn’t forecasted. We were not prepared for it. It hit the ground and within minutes of the second half being under way the referee made the right decision to take the players off the pitch.

“It was farcical. The ball was getting stuck and it was only a matter of time before a decision was made. The water was clearly not draining through. That is something that cannot be helped.

“It was a race against time to see if the pitch would improve at any stage. I told the players to stay ready because we had no timeframe.”

Taylor said the pitch was bad in its entirety and efforts to clear the water were not working.

Restarting after such a delay would have increased the chances of injury, according to Taylor.

He added: “It was still unplayable right in the middle. It was still a couple of inches deep in the middle. The ball was not bouncing.

“If we had gone back out there two hours later, the players are in a huge position of risk, not from the pitch itself but from cooling down and warming up again. There is a bigger picture which has to be looked at.

“Sometimes there is nothing you can do about the weather. It was a downpour like we have never seen.

“I sympathise with their journey and their fans. It doesn’t make them feel any better but I have been from Exeter to Barrow for a frozen pitch, so I have a little bit of an idea of how it does feel. But we will replay the fixture.”

On the first half, Taylor said: “They were better in the first half. We weren’t quite there at any stage in the game. I know we went behind and that affects confidence. We started making a few unforced errors and the team connection wasn’t there.”

An EFL spokesperson added: “Following the abandonment of this afternoon’s Sky Bet Championship fixture between Rotherham United and Cardiff City, the circumstances surrounding this will now be considered in-line with EFL Regulations.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox