Paul Warne speaks to iFollow Millers ahead of the trip to Reading...
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the trip to Reading for this weekend's Sky Bet Championship game at the Madejski Stadium.
Warne spoke to the club regarding his side's improving form, injuries and the challenge of facing the Royals, with full video content available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers…
On Sheffield Wednesday result and recent performances…
“Apart from the last 20 seconds of the game I thought we were excellent. We didn't score enough goals obviously but the end doesn't detract from the fact that we played really well.
“The performances have been really good recently, we've got a lot of people back. It makes a massive difference having Willo and Newelly back.
“Realistically the last two games we should have had three points in each. The performances are there, we just need to change draws into wins.
“The support was amazing at the weekend. However many travel to Reading please be as loud as you can.
“We have taken a lot of confidence. I think when the weather started to change last season we were really good, I think I'm a better manager in the sun!
“I just think they have a real purpose about them at the moment and they’re doing really well. Every game we go at we're not hanging on at the end, we're trying to go for it.
On fitness levels helping in latter stages of 2018/19 campaign…
“I like to think we're one of the fittest and strongest teams in the League.
“I think the last few games they've looked really good. It helps that you can bring the Newell's, Willo's, Wiles' and Crooks' on.
“I think they're mentally fit, they're really fresh and we do new things all the time to keep them that way.”
On team news, including updates on Kyle Vassell and Sean Raggett…
“There's no new issues with any of the first team squad. Pottsy is joining in with passing drills. Kyle is post-op so he's around now and Raggett is nearly back.
“10/20 years ago it [Vassell’s groin injury] was like a 12 week injury, now it's 3 or 4. We think he should be available for the end of March.
“I spoke to Gams about Rags on Tuesday. I was led to believe he'd be joining in again next week.”
On squad depth and opportunities for everyone between now and the end of the season…
“In fairness, Matty Palmer who played really well for us earlier in the season isn't in the squad.
“Crooksy has done well and he wasn't in the team either. I think the lads in the team have a real driving force behind them knowing these lads want their places.
“I had to take my captain off at half time at Hull, but we'll do whatever we have to do to win football matches here. It wasn't pleasant, but we'll do what's best for the club.”
On Ajayi excelling in deep-lying midfield role…
“I think Semi likes playing in midfield. I think his body language tells me he does.
“He is a screener and he's getting more and more confident in the role.
“He does allow the other two to really push on, which we need because we predominantly play with one up front.”
On the upcoming test at Reading and how much importance is placed on getting a result this weekend…
“If we lose, I'll get a bit down but not too much.
“In fairness on paper, this is one of our hardest. I don't want fans to read this and think I'm being defeatist.
“If we lose we're three points behind them, but if we win, we're only three in front of them and there's a long way to go. The key is not to get too carried away either way. I don't want to put too much pressure on the group.
“They've got a massive squad with loads of choices. They can all handle the ball and take it in tight areas. They've got Oliveira who gives them a focal point and a bit more of a threat.
“Reading are a really good team that keep the ball for long periods. I know Sheff Utd beat them quite convincingly but Reading still had more of the ball than them.”