Paul Warne talks to iFollow Millers ahead of the game at Swansea City...
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the Easter weekend to preview the trip to Swansea City on Good Friday.
Warne looked back on an excellent comeback at Stoke City, while explaining how he has used Tiger Woods' Masters victory as an inspirational tool for his side.
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Warne’s Stoke City reflections…
“I thought our second half performance was really good and the subs all did well, as did the starting XI, so I'm really pleased considering the team we were playing against.
“I think they spent £30 million just in the transfer window so it just shows how good our lads our doing in trying to compete and keeping us in the hunt to go down to the wire.
“I think if they ever need affirmation that they're doing really well in this league that was definitely the game for it.
Warne on Crooks and impact from the bench last weekend…
“It's weird coming on as a sub sometimes. You're a bit fearless. You've gone on to have a positive impact on the game and at the time we were in a good position and on top. He came on and kept picking the ball up in positions which caused them problems.
“The 'keeper has made a great save off him, he could have scored a header and Butland has made another good save off him and he's had one cleared off the line. As days at the office go, it's quite good.
“It didn't start great, because he had breakfast beside me and he had omelette and black pudding and I'm thinking; 'wow, black pudding, that's a high risk strategy sat beside me'.
“I had a good chat with him and got a good feel from him that he wants to play and do well and it seemed an ideal game for him.”
Warne on a point gained at the Bet365 Stadium, the away fans and his side’s resilience…
“I think if you're 2-0 down and you draw 2-2 it feels like a point gained. Obviously the other way around it feels like two lost.
“I was really pleased with the performance first and foremost and the fact that the lads never give up is pretty impressive.
“The crowd were excellent and loud second half. It just felt like one of those days where it would be Disney stuff if we'd have won 3-2.
Warne’s injury update…
“Fitness-wise, there's not a problem at all. They're all good. The sun is shining which helps, I think.
“We'll train Wednesday and train at Cardiff on Thursday. I spoke to the Gaffer [Neil Warnock] so I've sorted that out.
“The only one we're missing is poor Procs. We've signed good people, human beings and athletes and predominantly this year we've been pretty lucky with injuries.”
Warne on challenge of facing Swansea City…
“It's difficult away from home in this league, that is for sure and they're a formidable home side.
“I watched their last game against Stoke and they caused all sorts of problems. It'll be another tough game but I think we'll have to play the way we do, and it will cause them problems.
“We have to be aware of their threats, and they've got a couple of proper threats to say the least.
“In fairness, they had all the possession at our place and we won but it was a rob. It was definitely a snatch and grab.
“Their mid-table league position is purely on their away form. At home they've done really well, so it's great news we're playing them at their place.
“I think as a home side, they must be in the top five. That's going to be the problem for us. We're going to have to try and silence the crowd and have some of the play ourselves. They are a very possession-based team and history suggests we haven't been great against them, so we need to sort of change our mentality a little bit.”
Warne on James threat…
“James and Grealish are probably the two outstanding players in the league really.
“I really like him, as everyone does. He's got a real pace and drive. He can cross and shoot and he is a real threat.
“They can all handle the ball, but he is definitely the danger man.”
Warne on facing teams in the middle of the pack at this stage of the season…
“It's this time of year that all the teams at the bottom appreciate the importance of points and all the teams at the top get a bit squeaky.
“The pressure gets more and more. Teams in the middle can play without any fear and you get some really freaky results at this time of year.
“In the last three games, we've had Forest and Villa at home and Stoke away, four points doesn't sound the worst return but it could have been so much more.”
Warne on using Tiger Woods’ odds-defying victory as an inspirational tool for his players…
“We always do the same process on a Monday, the good and the bad. I showed them the Tiger Woods clip where he's watching loads of pundits and people saying he'd never win it again and he's gone and he's finished.
“Loads of people have said that we wouldn't survive this year and we were rock bottom favourites to go down and we talked about the feeling that they will have after the Middlesbrough game if they have survived will be priceless.
“We spoke about that and how he came off the 18th and hugged his dad the first time he won it and his dad's now not here, so he did it for his children because he wants them to see him being great. It's not dissimilar to our lads. They want to be seen as Gods in front of their own wives and kids and parents.”