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READ | We're getting there - Warne

25 July 2019

Millers boss Paul Warne is pleased with his squad's steady progress after Tuesday night's 1-1 friendly draw with West Brom.

However, defensive duo Joe Mattock and Billy Jones are doubts ahead of Saturday’s final pre-season tie at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Premier League Leicester City visit South Yorkshire, concluding the Millers’ pre-season schedule, but Warne could be without two full-backs.

“Billy felt his heel in the warm-up meaning he couldn’t play a part,” said Warne following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw.

"Joe Mattock going down with his groin wasn’t great. Hopefully he’ll be okay for Saturday.”

The Rotherham boss is also hoping to welcome Shaun MacDonald back into the fold after the midfielder missed out against the Baggies due to a dead leg. The 1-1 draw against the Championship side left Warne content, who admits his side need to ‘polish up’ on a few things.

“I’m pretty pleased,” he added. "Out of possession we were good, now we have to try and polish them up for the start of the season; the set-pieces, the ball back in play we need to work on. Generally, their fitness and desire to play was pretty good, I thought.

“When they brought their subs on I was like ‘Oh my days’. I brought on a 19-year-old, a 20-year-old and a trialist. They brought on internationals! The lads have been performing well in pre-season, although in the games we’ve always loaded them hard on training. Today was the first day they didn’t train before playing so they probably looked a bit fresher. There were positive signs but we need to keep pushing them to get the most.”

Speaking of one of his latest recruits, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, Warne was pleased with his new ‘keeper’s display.

“It’s not very often I say the ‘keeper kicks it too far!” joked Warne. “I don’t think I’ve ever said it at this stadium. He’s a really nice kid and been our target all summer.

“We always knew we were getting him, we just had to be patient. He didn’t have a lot to do, but what he did do, he did well.”

Warne still has his eye on more recruits before the curtain-raiser against Wimbledon next weekend.

“We lost a lot in the summer,” he said. “It’s a massive transformation. We’re slowly but surely getting a group together that can, hopefully, be competitive.

“The group we’ve got are really close, so if we can keep them together we’ll be in good fettle."

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