Preston 3-0 Rotherham: Emil Riis scores twice as play-off chasers thump relegation-bound Millers

Preston striker Emil Riis
Preston striker Emil Riis has scored six goals in his past eight appearances [Getty Images]

Preston North End boosted their play-off hopes with a thumping win over dismal bottom side Rotherham United, who slipped closer to relegation.

The home side took the lead when Duane Holmes converted Robbie Brady's drilled low cross from six yards out and Emil Riis scored twice before the break to end the game as a contest.

The Dane hit a crisp effort across the goalkeeper for his first before lashing the ball in from close range after the away side failed to clear their lines.

Hakeem Odoffin came close to a consolation for the visitors in the second half, but Preston cruised over the line with a fourth clean sheet in their past five matches.

This was a 25th defeat in 39 Championship games for the Millers, who are without a win since 26 December and have not scored since 24 February.

They will be relegated to League One on Monday if they do not beat Millwall, although results elsewhere could mean even a victory is not enough to keep their survival hopes alive for a few more days.

Preston made easy work of Leam Richardson's men to remain five points behind sixth-placed Norwich, although they do have a game in hand on the Canaries.

Holmes scored his first goal since November to get them off and running before in-form Riis showed he is close to his clinical best.

The former Denmark Under-21 international was ruled out for almost the whole of 2023 with an ACL injury but has now scored six goals in eight games after his first double since October 2022.

He slammed home his first from just inside the area from compatriot Mads Frokjaer's pass and then hammered in a loose ball five minutes later after the away side were opened up down their left.

Ryan Lowe's side will now look to secure a third straight win when they travel to struggling Birmingham City on Monday.

Preston manager Ryan Lowe:

"A clean sheet and three points, nobody can ask for anything more than that I don't think. Overall I thought the performance was fantastic.

"At this time it's just about winning games of football, and we did that comfortably. It could have been a potential banana skin but, to be fair to the group, it definitely didn't turn out like that.

"We were on the front foot pretty much throughout the game, we produced some good passages of play and we scored some good goals.

"I'm pleased with the result and the performance. It's all about staying positive, given the position we're in."

Rotherham boss Leam Richardson:

"We know what moment we're in here, and this club is massively in transition, I think we can all see that.

"I feel for all of our fans right now. We've all got to represent ourselves and this club much better than we have been doing.

"It's about me trying to get some confidence into the players and trying my best to give the team some kind of identity. Maybe then we can get better results.

"We certainly don't want to be going out of this division with a whimper. I want everyone to stick together and show a bit more belief and confidence in these final few remaining games of the season."