Paul Warne talks to iFollow Millers ahead of the game at Stoke City...
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne returned to the training ground on Thursday morning following the midweek clash with Aston Villa and spoke to iFollow Millers ahead of the trip to Stoke City.
Warne gave his reflective thoughts on the narrow defeat to Villa, the possibility of freshening up his side and the challenge of facing Stoke.
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Warne on Aston Villa reflections…
“I've watched all of it back, I didn't sleep really. I think we played really well first half and created enough chances to get at least a point against a really good Villa side.
“I don't think we got it wide enough quick enough to cause them problems really.
“I've got no real issue with the penalties. I thought Semi had a good chance with his left foot in the first half.
“Overall, can I ask a lot more of them? I'm not sure. They've gave it everything and I'm proud.
“On another day they [the chances we had] might have gone in. If Joe Newell had scored and it had gone to 2-2 we might have had the impetus and gone on to win the game.
“We asked them to move the ball wide quickly but in fairness to Villa, their best players stood up after half time. I thought McGinn was outstanding.”
Warne on picking his side back up ahead of another fixture…
“We have to try and refresh them now because in another 48 hours we're kicking off again.
“I expect a few jaded legs. I think the fans will be tired and I've only had two hours sleep myself.
“We'll just be walking through things on the training pitch today to get information into them. I know Joe Newell is struggling a little bit.
“Three games in a week is tough but it's not so bad Saturday to Wednesday as you get 24 hours extra recovery, but when you flip that around it is tough.”
Warne on potentially freshening his side up with changes…
“We will have to make some changes which is fine, but it's working out what is the best way to play with the freshest players.
“Sometimes a change does freshen the team up. We do need energy and we do need legs.
“The other way to look at it is to ask the lads to give it their job lot for 60mins.”
Warne on Billy Jones…
“He's going to train tomorrow, so he should be available for Saturday.”
Warne on being aware of scores from other fixtures that could shape the relegation fight…
“It's bittersweet for me really. I know it came up on the screen and Reading and Wigan were both winning. Even though I knew we were winning I knew it would be a massive half.
“If we had won, we'd have hopped over a few. Everyone is dragged back into it.
“The results could have gone a lot worse.
“The pressure is on the other teams as greatly as it is us.
“It's an emotional rollercoaster as it is. The goals go in for other teams but sometimes it works in your favour. Even though the teams at the bottom took the lead it was early on and they'll have looked at us and thought the same.”
Warne on challenge for facing Stoke City and a familiar face in the dugout at the Bet365 Stadium…
“To go to Stoke is a big ask, but if we're going to survive in this league it is a big ask.
“If we can take it to the last game then great.
“I know Nath [Jones] really well.
“I think they'll be very good next year and a completely different team. If they have a day when they all turn up then it's going to be a very tough afternoon, but we have to impose ourselves on it.
“It's a tough but exciting game. If we're going to stay up and have a season to remember we're going to have to pick something up in the next two games.
“I'm pretty close with Nath, we were the two senior pros at the time [playing days at Yeovil].
“He's a good lad that did really well at Luton. His full backs are normally really fit and race on. I think Stoke will see an improved team when they're back from pre-season.
“I think his work at Brighton was well-respected. He was on the coaching staff there for years. He's multi-lingual which helps too.”