Ronnie Moore said set-pieces could be the difference in what he predicts will be a tight League Two this season.
And the Rotherham manager certainly needed them to see off 10-man Accrington last Saturday.
The Millers, hot favourites for promotion this season, looked like they were going to lose to the depleted Stanley despite having what must be one of the tallest and strongest sides in the league.
But a corner and a long throw sealed the win for Rotherham and it was agony for the valiant Reds who, with the defeat, lost their unbeaten home record.
Stanley battled and kept pressing despite losing debutant defender Kevin Long to a contentious penalty on 17 minutes.
Reds boss John Coleman had brought him in earlier that week on a month’s loan from neighbours Burnley to add height to his side, who were without suspended 6ft captain Andy Procter as well as defender Jonny Bateson.
But the 20-year-old, who has shown in the early stages he will be an asset to the Reds, got red-carded for tussling with Rotherham’s hitman Adam Le Fondre.
It was harsh on the Reds defender with Le Fondre using all his guile and experience as the pair were both shoulder to shoulder for a long ball over the top.
They started the ‘coming together’ outside the area but Le Fondre finished inside with the assistant giving the penalty and the referee showing the red card to last man Long.Coleman didn’t speak to the press before looking at a video of the incident and talking to referee Geoff Eltringham after the alloted half-hour following the game.
And he was seething with what was the turning point of the game.
"I knew at the time it wasn’t a penalty. It wasn’t in the box and it’s debatable whether it’s a sending off because it’s debatable whether it was a foul. One thing I am 100 per cent sure of is that it was not in the box.
"I am not having a go at Adam Le Fondre, he is a clever forward and he has done his job but it’s up to the referee to get it right.
"These people who run the lines and officiate in game are paid a decent amount of money for 90 minutes’ work and it’s their duty to get it right.
"The worrying thing is some of these people will get promoted to the higher echelons where there are millions, and sometimes perhaps billions, at stake and if they are getting it wrong at this level then God help us."
Coleman admitted Long was distraught as he is desperate to impress in his spell with the Reds. "It’s welcome to the harsh world of football for him," said Coleman. "He doesn’t think he has fouled the lad and he is devastated it has led to a penalty but he is a good player and he won’t let this distract him from the fact he wants to have a good football career."
Le Fondre is deadly, especially against Stanley, and had no problem dispatching the penalty for his 11th goal of the campaign.
And then, with Stanley almost 3-3-3, they had to withstand a barrage with keeper Ian Dunbavin pulling off some stunning stops to keep out winger Kevin¿Ellison – who had an early booking and was involved in several heated incidents – and Tom Pope with Luke Joyce clearing a Le Fondre overhead kick off the line.
Coleman did rejig his team after the break, with McConville falling back into the right back role at times, and showed bravery in keeping their attacking options open instead of shutting up shop.
And it paid off with the Reds’ well-worked corner-routine – which Moore said he had worked on preventing all week. McConville played the ball through the area, Phil Edwards’ dummied it and there was battling Jimmy Ryan to rifle the ball low and hard into the bottom of the net.
At half-time most Stanley fans would have taken a point. Four minutes after the break, they believed they could actually hold on for a win and, for the next 30 minutes, Rotherham may have had the majority of the possession but didn’t seriously test Dunbavin.
The work-rate of the Reds was commendable as they never gave up, kept pressing, covered from back to front and certainly didn’t deserve to lose.
And it looked like time was running out for the Millers until Dean Winnard cleared for a corner with nine minutes left.
Set-pieces has been Rotherham’s main threat and the flag kick was neatly placed onto the head of Exodus Geohaghon, valued at £100,000 by loan club Peterborough, and he made no mistake with the equaliser.
That was agony enough for the Reds but, as has happened too often over the last few seasons, Stanley’s hearts were broken with an injury-time goal.
The Reds had already survived Ryan Taylor’s shot hitting the inside of the post and bouncing into Dunbavin’s arms.
And then Goehaghan got another long throw in injury-time and, in a melee inside the box in which Sean Hessey went flying, Ryan Cresswell popped up to head home for the winner.
Coleman was gutted: "We conceded from two set-pieces which both could have been avoided and to the last kick of the game again.
"We haven’t defended set-pieces and our tallest man on the pitch has got sent off. Sometimes you think the gods are against you but you have got to battle on.
"I have gone in and tore a strip off the lads but, when you reflect, they have worked their socks off and you can’t be too critical but the goals we conceded were avoidable.
"We have got to try and put it right next time but, although we are a young side, we have got to learn and learn quickly or else some of them won’t be playing."