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READ | Warne's pre-Wigan Athletic press highlights

7 February 2019

Paul Warne speaks to iFollow Millers ahead of the hosting of Wigan Athletic...

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of this Saturday's hosting of Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship.

On the agenda to discuss was the inclusion of a trialist in training, injury news and Warne's condolences to the friends and family of club legend Danny Williams.

Full video content will be available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers…

On players returning from injury…

“I've got a few back and Willo starts training with us today. Newelly got through the game alright, Wilesy did, Matt Palmer and Zak played.

“Vass played but pulled up in pain again, so that's something we'll have to investigate again today, so going forward I don't know how we're going to be with Kyle. Apart from that I think we've got virtually a full group.

“He [Newell] looked good and so he should. Matty Palmer was very good as well as was Wilesy.

“Pottsy is on the grass every day now, not with the squad but he's back and Sean Raggett is starting back soon, so really we're not looking too bad.

“We'll have to decide which way we're playing. If we're playing 3-5-2 it may be harder to get Newelly in and I'm going to have to look at him in different positions, although I know he's keen on playing in that middle three, especially in games when we're attacking.

“I've spoken to the physios today. He [Vassell] isn't training today but he is tomorrow and we're going to see how he is. He did well when he came on against Leeds but he's taken a step back for whatever reason.

“All we've got is two fit strikers, Jerry and Smithy. Luckily, if Kyle isn't fit I can throw Tayls or Willo up there as a 10 off Smithy, so it's not the end of the world.

“Luckily for us Smudge was made of granite last season and played the whole season.”

On 3-5-2 formation used at Millwall…

“We have used it quite a few times in games when we've thrown the kitchen sink. The reason we went that way at Millwall is because we'd watched a few of their games and in the last one against Everton they'd scored off three set pieces. With three centre halves we had last chance of getting carved up and it means you can go two up front.

“It is a bit difficult for those full backs to be wing backs. We were winding Joe Mattock up saying he was a bit like a young Tony Dorrigo, he got up and down a little bit and it was harder for Billy down his side.

“We haven't had a great season away from home and we needed to change it and if ever you had an opportunity for your big players to stand up and be counted it would be Millwall away.”

On Matt Crooks’ full Rotherham United debut…

“He's [Crooks] had little cameos and I thought it suited him at Millwall. He stepped up couple of leagues and we knew it would take a couple of week's hard training. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to put him in.

“We need our lads to be uber-fit here. I thought he looked really athletic. He can handle the ball and he's a good size. He's had a good start and he's going to be here for a few years, so hopefully the Rotherham fans will enjoy watching him play.

On Jerry Yates since returning from Carlisle United…

“I've always been one of Jerry's fans. He did really well at Carlisle and everyone wanted to take him on loan. I told him I had to do what was right for the club. He'll play a part and he'll be involved in loads of games between now and the end of the season. 

“Jerry's attitude in training is second-to-none and he deserved his chance and I thought he played really well.

“I remember him scoring against the Canaries. I just think he looks a bit sharper and he's grown into his body a bit more. His awareness and ball manipulation has come on no end, and I thank Carlisle for that because him playing that amount of games makes you learn on the spot. That's the reason you send players out on loan. To improve and come back and help improve your team.”

On Michael Ihiekwe back in the first team fold…

“Again, he had a really good loan and I thought his first game in the Championship went really well as well. 

“I said to him that he's got a great future at the club I hope. 

“People sometimes think you send people on loan because you don't want to see them but that isn't the case.

“I had a conversation with Icky at the start of the summer about him being down the pecking order and he wants to play every week, so it made sense for him to go out on loan. I said I'd keep tabs on him and I've watched every time he kicked a ball in the last five months.”

On trialist that has joined training this week…

“We've had a trialist in from Germany so we're trying every avenue we can to strengthen but it's not easy.

“This time last year it was exactly the same type of thing. We only had Smudge and Bally and Jerry then, so we weren't inundated with options up top.

“I think it's there's a paperwork issue at the other end. Until that's rectified we can't have him play in a game, which is regrettable because I don't think you can judge people in training. 

“I think you have to give them a fair crack to watch them in a game and once that's sorted he'll come back and I'll have another look.

“Joining in with the group he was good and he seemed a great kid which is essential and he just gives us another option up top, I just don't know when he's going to come back, it's out of my hands a little bit.

“I'm told there's another player we can look at and we will. I don't turn my nose up at anything.”

On the recent passing of club legend Danny Williams…

“When I first joined the club, Hursty had loads of games and he could catch this record. 

“I know how much pain Hursty had to put himself through and how consistent he had to be, if Danny Williams beat Hursty he will have been some player, although I never saw him play. 

“It's always sad when a former player, manager or coach loses their life. I think his family will be at the game which will be nice and it's a beautiful moment for them.

“It's a poignant moment and I hope the family have a good day. I know the fans are really respectful of these things and I am sure the Wigan fans will be too.

“Hopefully it will be one of the loudest [applauses] we've ever had for one of our greatest.”

On Wigan Athletic...

“They've strengthened and I see Cooky a lot. He plays a certain way like we do. 

“The lads will know before this meeting what they're in for, style and personnel wise. As we will be, they'll be determined not to lose the game.

“The game I remember really well is the Championship game when we won 3-2. Wigan games are engrained in my brain a little bit, going back to the Will Hoskins days.

“I have a lot of respect for Cooky and his staff for what they have done.”


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