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READ | Warne and Barker's pre-Sheffield United press highlights

7 March 2019

Paul Warne and Richie Barker talk to iFollow Millers ahead of the clash with Sheffield United...

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne and assistant Richie Barker were on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the short trip to Sheffield United for this weekend's Sky Bet Championship game at Bramall Lane.

Warne and Barker spoke to the club on a number of topics including Will Vaulks, maintaining momentum and Sheffield United, with full video content available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers…

 

Richie Barker on Blackburn performance, result and maintaining momentum…

“It was definitely important that we kept that unbeaten run going, which I think is six [games] now.

“It was important that we make our home stadium a really difficult place for people to come but the three points was the most important thing. 

“There were certain areas of the game that we weren't particularly pleased about but I don't think we've had our just rewards over the last couple of weeks in some of the draws, so you could argue it evens itself out.

“It's a lot easier looking at the league table when you've got three points, especially when one or two other results have gone for you.

“The positive we can take from it is that if we don't play particularly well and there are issues that we think need sorting out, but we can still win the game, then hopefully once we've ironed those out, who knows.”

Richie Barker on the fight for Sky Bet Championship survival…

“I think there's always someone somewhere with a dozen games to go, who thinks that they are safe and ends up looking over their shoulder.

“At the moment that could be Millwall or Wigan and that applies to ourselves and Reading, who have also put a bit of pressure on them.

“It's never nice chasing and you'd always rather be in front, but at this precise moment, they will be looking at us thinking 'they're six unbeaten'.”

Paul Warne on team news heading into the South Yorkshire derby…

“We're all good. We had a bit of a problem with Jon Taylor earlier on in the week but he got through his fitness test alright yesterday and he'll join in with the squad today.

“He's [Ihiekwe] fine and he's trained all week and there are no other issues to talk about really.

“We've got a few options and a few dilemmas. A few of the lads had a run-out in the reserves this week and picked up a few minutes. As we do for every game, we pick the team that we think is in form, but tactically can compete.”

Paul Warne on Ben Wiles pushing for a place and midfield competition…

“As I've said before, any of the squad can start really and he is in contention with the others. We've had real competition for places in the middle of the park, that is for sure.

“Crooksy has done nothing wrong since he has been here, his performances have been excellent. Richie and Will have played virtually every game and Semi has done really well as a sitting midfielder, throwing goals into the mix. 

“Wilesy is someone who got himself into the team and then his injury got him out. Unfortunately for him, which has been the same for Willo, once you're out the team, it's hard to get back in it.

“He's definitely made a case to be included in the squad this weekend and whether he's done enough to be in the team is our decision.”

Paul Warne on exercising Will Vaulks’ option and potential international interest…

“Taking up his option was an absolute no-brainer and I could have taken it up in August. 

“You see the season he's had and obviously I want to keep him. I've tried to get him on a longer deal but it didn't really come to fruition, or at least not at the moment. 

“By taking this extra year it gives us another 14/16 months to convince him to stay. That will be one of my jobs in the summer.

“He has been one of our top performers and has been getting a lot of interest from other clubs no doubt and it's culminated in a potential call-up for Wales, which would be some achievement.

“I've just been in the gym absolutely hammering him [Ryan Williams]. He's lost his Australian accent and it's now Welsh!

“He's a bit unfortunate because he was in unbelievable form and injury killed him a little bit. 

“Willo when he is on song is some player and we're trying to get him to that again.”

Richie Barker on the challenges facing Sheffield United will bring…

“Everybody you speak to in the Championship talks about the system, the way they play and how well they play it.

“They've recruited very well, they've got good players and options.

“The next couple of days in terms of what we do on the training ground is important to get the necessary information into the players.

“It's like when we went to Manchester City, we knew what they were going to do, but stopping it is something totally different. They are unique in what they do, but extremely good at it.

“We can definitely try and give the lads confident from what the lads did in the home game but we are well-aware that we have excellent home form, as they have, so it will be a slightly different game.”

Paul Warne on his admiration for the work done by Chris Wilder and Sheffield United…

“I just want to put on the record that no matter what happens at the end of the season, I think Chris Wilder has been manager of the season.

“The way they play and what they have got, which we have, is a real camaraderie amongst their squad. You can see that in the way they play for each other and that's really good to see and I do enjoy watching Sheff U to be fair.

“For us to go there again is great. We get on with Knilly and Chris really well, so there's no dramas and I think it will be a good game to play in.”


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