Paul Warne post Sheffield Wednesday...
Rotherham United interim boss Paul Warne says he will go home from Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday a proud man, despite the Millers going down to a late goal at Hillsborough.
The Millers were cruelly defeated in S6 by Steven Fletcher’s stoppage time penalty, which also saw Richard Wood dismissed in the aftermath, but Warne’s side battled bravely and left him proud of their display.
“I feel guilty to be the only manager to come and lose here in 20-odd years, but with this group of players we’ve come here and I will go home hugely proud,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“It was a cruel way. It was a tight game and a game of few chances. I thought we had a couple of good chances first half and a couple in the second and it was a game of set pieces really.
“It’s difficult for me because I go in the changing rooms after and they’re all absolutely devastated and the worst I’ve ever seen them.
“I just said to them I’m really proud of them and the last four games they have given me everything they’ve got, so as the leader of that group of men, I’m a proud man.”
The Millers thought they had taken the lead in the first half when Tom Adeyemi crashed home a header from Joe Newell’s cross but it was chalked off, before they were dealt another blow as Lucas Joao was deemed to have been fouled in the box minutes from the end in what would prove to supply to winner for the hosts.
Warne admitted that his side had to be patient at times during the encounter at Hillsborough but was pleased to see them still in the game as it entered the final stages.
“I’ve never been in a game where there are so many free kicks and it was non-contact football for both teams,” he continued.
“We got a bit frustrated with the whole way the game was going and we were happy to slow it down away from home. I kept saying to the lads if you go into it and you’re still in the game at 60 or 70 minutes we’d have a good chance.
“I don’t know why the goal was ruled out and I’ve watched it back and I’ve tried to do that with neutral eyes and I can not see what it is he’s blown for. That’s hugely disappointing because it would have been nice to go in 1-0 up obviously.
“The penalty late on there is contact, but he has won the penalty, as opposed to Woody fouling him. I know what football is like and any contact it this game today would have been awarded a free kick.”
The popular fitness coach, who has now taken charge of four matches, continued to admit that the players need to take heart from recent displays as they enter the busy Christmas period.
“I think in all these four games, we’ve won one and lost three, which I don’t think is a good record, but we’ve never lost by more than one goal,” Warne added.
“We’ve always been really competitive and I told them that I knew they’d be disappointed by the defeat but not to be disappointed with their effort or performances.
“They have to take pride in that going into the next few home games.”
The Millers did forge a number of good openings in the match at S6 and explained that he never felt his side were in danger from the confines of the technical area.
“I don’t know if we were the better team but we had pockets of play, especially with Joe Newell in the first half.
“The clear cut chances I think we had the better of, but it wasn’t a game with a lot of them.
“They had a few which Pricey saved, but I can honestly say stood at the side of the pitch I was not stressed at all and I didn’t think we were going to concede."