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READ | Paul Warne's pre-Oxford United press highlights

17 October 2019

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers duty ahead of the home fixture against Oxford United in Sky Bet League One this weekend...

The Millers boss looks back on the impressive away victory at Blackpool, the whirlwind of a day that Clark Robertson had, getting an almost fully fit squad at his disposal and the threat that Oxford pose.

Full video content is available HERE on iFollow Millers…

Warne on Blackpool win and impact of away support...

"We're on a good run and we've won three games in a week which gives the lads a lot of confidence, but it was a difficult game against Blackpool and it was played at a high tempo despite it not being the most free-flowing of contests at times.

"I thought we were significantly better in the second half in comparison to the opening 45 minutes. We had more control, and then the subs came on and they had a really positive impact.
 
"Overall, I was very pleased with how we performed and on the back of the win over Coventry as well, it's a good place to be as always. 
 
"The supporters can play an immense part and they did at Bloomfield Road. I'm all about trying to form a connection between the players and the community, so that when we go away from home we feel formidable. 
 
"If you have a good following, it doesn't feel that intimidating to be at other club's stadiums when you see and hear the fans before and during the game. Fans are essential to this team and I've said it ever since I took charge, we always have a good backing at Rotherham United."
 
Warne on an eventful afternoon for Clark Robertson...
 
"It was a great strike for his goal wasn't it! He didn't know he was playing until about eight minutes before kick-off when Joe Mattock came in and said his quad was a little bit sore, so we didn't want to risk a tear or anything.
 
"That just shows the togetherness of our squad because if the 11 who are playing have no relationship with the rest of the group, you're in trouble. We always try to have a culture here that encourages everyone to play a massive part.
 
"Robbo wasn't sulking that he wasn't going to be playing, but for him to come in, grab an assist and score against his former club must've felt really sweet for him. 
 
"I don't know if people know this, but his Dad travels from Aberdeen so it's not like it's a short little trip down to watch Clark. He missed his first game on Saturday and that's unfortunate."
 
Warne pleased with things at both ends of the pitch...
 
"It's disappointing that we conceded so late at Blackpool, but looking back at it I think it was a penalty. We didn't defend the first ball as well as we should've and the consequences were there for all to see, but the lads have done really well defensively. 
 
"We've got one of the best goals against records so far this season which is good news and the lads have a lot of trust in both Dan Iversen and Lewis Price. That makes a massive difference when you've got a goalkeeper you can trust in. 
 
"Michael Smith has done really well and we've had two wins with him up top and Matt Crooks playing just behind. It wasn't as fluent on Saturday as we would've liked and we didn't create enough chances for Smudge to score, but he still got his goal. 
 
"He's a pivotal part of how we play if he's the lone striker and he likes that. He has to be strong, win his headers and work hard, as is the case with any forward who plays for me."
 
Warne on having Trevor Clarke and Chieo Ogbene back fit...
 
"Having Trev and Chieo fit on Saturday was good because it just gives you more options off the bench, so to have attacking players available is essential. Potentially you could have Kyle Vassell, Freddie Ladapo, Cheio, Trev, Carlton Morris and Smudge all fighting to be in the team. 
 
"We've got a lot of trust in Trev and we see in training that he's tenacious and feisty which I like, so I'd have no problem with starting him on Saturday and that is the same with the rest of my players too. 
 
"I've been shown Chieo's dance routine prior to kick-off at Blackpool which was hugely impressive and he obviously got that off me and Rich, but he's a bright character and an intelligent lad so he can take on information. 
 
"He'll have a big part to play in things as well and he's desperate to get his first start for the club, so it's fantastic to see them all working hard to force their way into the team."
 
Warne on team news ahead of Oxford...
 
"I've been told as you interview me on a sunny Thursday morning at Roundwood that he is available to train today, so we will assess him as we will with Freddie over the next 24 hours or so, but hopefully he's in contention for the weekend's game.
 
"The latest update on Vass is that there's no update really - he's been doing all of the exercises and the running, but I think he'll be back to join in with the group at some stage next week. 
 
"He had a little bit of a setback, but as one of my more powerful athletes he's more likely to pick up muscle injuries. That just leaves Adam Thompson and if we don't pick anything else up, we'll be fully fit.
 
"Trev and Chieo had no ill-effects from the weekend and they played for the reserves against Doncaster on Tuesday, but they were both blowing a little bit so they're not 100 per cent match ready just yet."
 
Warne looks ahead to the visit of the U's...
 
"I lean on Richie all of the time for information so it will be no different this weekend, but he knows Karl Robinson very well from his time at MK Dons and Oxford's style of play will be similar to what got him success during his spell there.
 
"We've watched their last few games and we have an idea of how they're going to play, but on the day it's another ball game completely. We'll prepare the lads on what they do in and out of possession and hopefully we can make it an entertaining game come Saturday."

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