Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne says Saturday’s first South Yorkshire derby of the season will be the biggest game of the season, as he prepares for three tough fixtures in quick succession.
Fresh from the international break, Warne is plotting a course aimed at maintaining his side’s recent run which has seen the Millers unbeaten in their last five Championship outings.
Warne knows the difficulty of the task ahead, but has welcomed the home advantage of this Saturday’s derby, as he looks to increase his side’s knowledge of Chris Wilder and Alan Knill’s Blades throughout the week.
"We have played Leeds away, but I think that on paper this is our biggest game so far,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk
“We have had a meeting today (Monday) about how Sheffield United play, and we will just try and layer on the information as the week goes on.
“We have done a session today (Monday) around counter-attacking, so we have started the information and we'll add to it day-by-day.”
With Wilder a former Millers defender, and his assistant Knill an ex-Rotherham teammate of Warne - and of course a former Millers boss - there is plenty of mutual respect between the staff on each team.
Having played in derby fixtures himself, alongside his trusted lieutenants Richie Barker and Mike Pollitt, Warne knows all about the significance of the fixture.
He also knows just how much a home crowd can be a factor, admitting he is pleased to be hosting the Blades first at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
“It is a South Yorkshire derby, and all derby games are special,” Warne reiterated.
“I think it is a fixture that I presume all fans look out for, and to be playing at home is a bonus for us. Every game is a massive game for us, home and away, but I think these games have a little more to it.”
Warne has been impressed with the rise of their neighbours from S2, but is ready for the test ahead, with form team QPR and table-toppers Norwich City also firmly on the horizon.
He added: “I know Chris and Knilly really well, and what they are doing at Sheffield United is really impressive.
"It will be good see how we go in the next three games, we have Sheffield United quickly followed by QPR, and then it is Norwich away. It is three teams that will be close to the summit of the form table. It will be a good test to see where we are.”