Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...Rotherham United interim boss Paul Warne is hopeful that club captain Lee Frecklington can fully re-immerse himself in Sky Bet Championship action following his recovery from an ankle injury and is hopeful the 31-year-old can register significant game time in tonight’s meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.
The former Lincoln City and Peterborough United man has been absent in recent weeks after surgery on his ankle, but he returned to the first team fold with a substitute appearance at the weekend’s clash with Aston Villa.
Warne is confident that the energetic midfielder is already at the required fitness levels for second tier action and hopes he is able to get through a full encounter starting with tonight’s visit of the Seagulls.
“I'm hopeful he can start the game and end it, which would be nice,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“There's not really an injury risk in that respect now I don't think and he's done loads and loads of straight-line running so his actual fitness levels are quite good.
“It's never an issue with his fitness. Match fitness is crucial don't get me wrong and if he starts [against Brighton] and plays 70 minutes he might look tired but he'll keep going.”
The Millers’ caretaker continued to add that Frecklington’s absence on the pitch has not stopped him from gauging his opinion off it and admits he will always be keen for his skipper’s thoughts ahead of the remainder of the matches this season.
“Frecks is a big part of this club and I pulled him in today [Monday] because I was discussing selection and all that and I wanted his input,” Warne explained.
“I look at football maybe different to what other people might do and I'm not that old-fashioned. I think football captains should be like rugby captains and I think they should play a part behind the scenes in the planning and have an opinion.
“I don't have to go with his opinion but I like to know what it is, so I've had a good chat with him today.”
With the likes of Darnell Fisher, Richard O’Donnell and Stephen Kelly set to miss out on tonight’s second tier fixture, Warne finished by admitting that whilst he is pleased by Frecklington’s return, he would have liked to have shaken up his starting lineup.
“He's really pleased to be back and we've been working on some shape and you have to calm him down because he never stops running around,” he added.
“It's nice to have him back and I would like to make more changes, but I'm limited on what I can do. I'm trying to put some fresh blood in it and freshen the team up."