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POST MATCH | No excuses, says Warne

7 January 2017

Paul Warne post Oxford United...

Rotherham United caretaker manager Paul Warne says he will look to inject a new lease of life into his side after disappointment in the Emirates FA Cup which saw them defeated 3-2 by Oxford United.

The Millers’ interim chief explained that he would have liked for his team to have embarked on a run in the cup competition whilst conceding that their performance against the U’s on Saturday was not up to their usual standard.

“To have a little cup run would have been nice. I think it is evident that we need to freshen things up with some new faces, and try and look forward to the next part of the season,” Warne explained after the game.

“We are doing everything we can behind the scenes to do that. I thought a few looked jaded and few of them under-performed which is sad, because they prepared exactly the same way and did exactly the same thing. I don't know whether they put too much into the Christmas games, but it was disappointing.”

Warne also explained that a slow start to proceedings in Rotherham proved costly but admitted there was a marked improvement to their performance after the restart.

"We started the game poorly. I have been speaking this week and I felt that it was a level game today, Oxford are doing well in League One and we aren't doing great in The Championship so I knew it was going to be a competitive game. I sent the lads out and said that you have to be positive on the ball, you have to be brave.

“They obviously missed their penalty but they deserved to be in front. We went in at half-time and I said some truths and I questioned a few players and their desire to play. I thought that second half for a large part of it, we were good.

“I thought in that half that we were the only team that was going to win to be honest when it was 1-1. Wardy may have gone down and got a penalty but he stayed on his feet and didn't get rewarded for that. It was a sloppy goal conceded for their second, someone should have come off the post but I don't want to say too much until I have seen it again.

“We were going for it, so they got another, then we got one but it was disappointing. I thought that we lost all our shape and everything that we have done well in the last six or seven games didn't happen today. I have to explain what happened.”

The Millers were dealt an early blow after Peter Odemwingie, who had been named to start on the teamsheet, fell foul to a calf injury in the warm up, but Warne admitted that was not the reason for their side’s defeat.

They were also up against three former Millers in the Oxford United ranks, with Warne explaining that he was more than aware of the threat their returns would pose at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

“If I am being honest, I set the team out like I have done every other week, it didn't help when Peter Odemwingie went down in the warm-up which was a blow ahead of the game. All the same we just weren't good enough,” he continued.

"I thought it was written in the stars for Chris Maguire to score when he got the penalty, but Ryan Taylor did come back and score.

“He played here a few years ago, I know him well and they deserved their goal at the time because they were the better side in the first-half. I thought that we were the better side in the second half but it wasn't enough."