JOINT caretaker boss Tommy Miller paid tribute to Adam Rooney’s work ethic over the course of the season after the Irishman came off the bench to earn Swindon Town a point against Preston.
Rooney has featured four times for the Robins in February, having not played a single minute for three months over the course of the winter.
In two of those matches, against Crawley on February 2 and this weekend gone, his goals have rescued Town a share of the spoils from losing situations, and Miller recognised how well the Irishman had done to keep focused despite his lack of gametime.
“Credit to him, all season he’s been out of the team and he hasn’t played as much as maybe he would have liked. He wants to play every week, he’s keen, he’s a great trainer, a great lad and it’s hard. I’ve been in that position myself,” he said.
“He’s come off the bench and got a vital goal for the team and we thank him for that and all the lads are delighted.
“We wanted the three points that would have kept us top of the league but we’re unbeaten still and we move on to Tuesday night.”
Though Miller and fellow caretaker manager Darren Ward were forced into a substitution when Simon Ferry hobbled off to be replaced by Alan Navarro, Rooney’s introduction was the pair’s first tactical change of their managerial careers.
It proved to be an inspired one, as it took Rooney less than 60 seconds to get on the scoresheet, but Miller played it down after the match.
“We spoke beforehand of what could happen and obviously the substitutions are vital – who can come off the bench and make a difference. It was a joint decision of who was going to come on I f it went to plan,” he said.
“We made the choice that Raffa would come off and Adam Rooney on. Credit to the lads, they kept on going. Adam Rooney’s had the composure to stick it in the corner and we pressed after that.
“We spoke beforehand of what could happen and obviously the substitutions are vital – who can come off the bench and make a difference. It was a joint decision of who was going to come on if it went to plan.
“We made the choice that Raffa would come off and Adam Rooney would come on, as the game was going on. He came on and got the goal which was superb.”