Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United interim manager Paul Warne says Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Oxford United will be given the same attention as a top Championship fixture, as he looks to lead the Millers into round four.
The Millers take a break from league action when they host Michael Appleton’s side at AESSEAL New York Stadium, as Warne takes charge of the first home game of the New Year.
Despite the Millers being in the thick of a relegation battle, Warne is giving Saturday’s clash his full attention, explaining that progression in England’s premier cup competition is high on his list of priorities.
“It is one of the best days in the English football calendar,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk
“There will be attention on the cup from all around the world, and if we are fortunate enough to get through the excitement builds even more in the fourth round. That's where we want to be.
“We really want to do well in the cup, it is good to win matches whether it is a league game or the cup - winning breeds confidence. We will treat this fixture just like we would if we were playing away to Newcastle in a Championship fixture.”
The Millers welcome League One side Oxford for the first time since 2012, looking to bounce back from the recent defeat to Leeds at Elland Road.
The U’s arrive in South Yorkshire with a raft of former Millers including full-back Joe Skarz and strikers Chris Maguire and Ryan Taylor.
Currently in mid-table in English football’s third tier, Oxford beat Gillingham 1-0 in their last outing and advanced to the third round stage after defeating Macclesfield Town in a replay.
Following defeat in West Yorkshire on Monday, Warne is welcoming the break from Championship action as he looks for several members of his squad to push hard for a starting place in training.
"It is nice to get a break from the stresses of the league,” Warne admitted.
"I am well aware of how hard it is to get to the third round, so Oxford have done well but they will want to go further. We would really like a cup run, this is a great opportunity for the players to show what they can do, and for some who might not normally be in the team, they have every chance of impressing me this week and putting themselves into contention.
“It would be great if we could get on a cup run this year, and it is always exciting if we can get through and be involved in the fourth round draw. I really enjoy the tension that goes with a live TV draw like everyone else. I am sure Oxford will feel the same, they are a good side and it will be a tough game. I think both sides would be delighted to get through and have the prospect of one of the big teams in the next round, and give the fans a day out somewhere or have a big side at home.”