After watching his side cruise to a 2-0 victory in tonight’s Yorkshire derby against Bradford City, Millers boss Paul Warne gave his thoughts to the media.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said Warne. “First half, we got the goal and it was nice for ‘Smudge’ (Michael Smith) on his starting debut to get a goal, he could have had one earlier, really. I thought they played better football than we did first half. They kept the ball quite well although they didn’t really have a lot of threats on our goal.
“The way we play, we get stronger as the game goes on and second half I felt like we could have had a number of goals. In that respect, I’m really pleased with the lads, we’re really proud of them and there’s a real togetherness with the staff and the players in the dressing room. It’s a positive place to work at the moment.
“I think fitness levels help but the psychological strength. Running around isn’t difficult but running around when you’re a little bit tired is. I think the lads, collectively, all do that for me. The subs go on and add a little bit of energy as well. We’ve got a real sort of exuberance in the team. No disrespect to Woody but if we take Woody out of the team, there’s nobody over 27-28. They’re 23 or 24 trying to give themselves a good career.
“They’re playing with a spring in their step, with real confidence and they feel like they can win every game that they play in, which is good for me as a manager.”
A goal in each half – first from Michael Smith on his full debut and then Joe Newell – secured all the points on what was another dominant display to make it nine games unbeaten for Warne’s men.
“The fans really appreciate the effort the lads put in,” he continued. “We aren’t going to win every game but we’ll try to.
“It was nice because Smith and ‘Newelly’ really changed the game in a positive way against Portsmouth. They deserved to start today and freshen it up. Both of them getting a goal is good for them and it’s good to keep competition for places. The only sad thing for me is I could only make three subs. I would have liked to have given more of the lads a game. They were chomping at the bit to get on the pitch and show what they can do.”
The win sees the Millers head into the top six and close the gap on tonight’s visitors to just one point, with Warne adding, “It’s obviously going well.
“Tonight was a good opportunity and I’m glad we haven’t wasted it. I didn’t want it to be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. I think the lads got a lot of confidence from the Portsmouth game and I was a little bit anxious they might be over-confident but I don’t think they were tonight.
“If the lads keep performing to that level, hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts.”