Paul Warne post-Wigan Athletic...
MILLERS chief Paul Warne believed his side earned a deserved side of the spoils following a goalless draw with table-topping Wigan Athletic.
In an enthralling encounter at the DW Stadium, the Millers started and finished the game the stronger – with Michael Smith and Ryan Williams going close in the early exchanges before Williams struck a fierce effort which shaved the home crossbar, late on.
Speaking to the assembled media afterwards, Warne was proud of his side’s display against the Lancastrians, who look well-placed to be plying their trade in the Championship, next season.
“We asked the lads to play brave when we were in possession and frustrate them when we didn’t have the ball,” Warne revealed.
“I thought we started the game well and could have gone one or two up in the first five minutes. We weathered the storm a little bit after that and at the start of the second half, I thought Wigan were excellent. They are champions-elect and possibly the best team in the league by a country mile, but I thought we defended pretty well. We rode the storm.
“In the last 20 minutes we were by far the better team and on another day, we may have nicked it. We had a few corners and set-pieces and may have had a penalty. I’m proud of the lads. We asked to play brave against a good team and I think they did. It’s a good day at the office.”
For the trip over the Pennines, Warne reverted to a 4-5-1 formation – with Smith acting as a lone frontman. The move paid dividends as the Millers frustrated Paul Cook’s side, for large spells. Despite this, sub James Vaughan could have snatched victory for the hosts, in one of the last acts of the game, but he blazed a point-blank header over when it looked easier to score.
“I didn’t go gung-ho. It was a hard job for Smudge (Smith), but we tried to get people in support every chance we could,” Warne added.
“I’m really pleased with the lads. I think we got the tactics spot on and on another day, we may have nicked a goal but it wasn’t to be.
“There were some really good performances. Icky (Ihiekwe) came back in at centre-half and put in a really good display and I thought Tayls (Taylor) and Willo (Williams) gave us real energy and pace down the sides.”