Rotherham United boss Paul Warne joined local journalists via a Zoom call on Fixture Release Day to discuss a number of topical issues.
Warne discussed the newly-released 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship fixture calendar, whilst talking about transfer news both in and out along with a host of other topics including injury updates and his latest signing Wes Harding.
You can find direct quotes from the Gaffer condensed into small sections on each areas below...
Warne on Fixture Release Day...
"You look at fixtures and when they're in black and white, they don't look too bad. Then once your in the midst of it, it is a different ball game!
"October looks a tough month with how many fixtures there are and your eyes are drawn to Boxing Day games.
"We could have had worse starts and we could have had Watford away, Bournemouth away and Norwich at home [all the relegated Premier League clubs].
"Us and Wycombe know each other really well, although we didn't have that fixture last season. It will be a game that they'll be up for and it will be their first time in the Champ. It will be a big game for them and it is just unfortunate that it won't be with crowds."
Warne on the current condition of his first team squad...
"We've had some pretty innocuous injuries. Matt Olosunde pulled his groin the other night, so he's out for two to three weeks, Freddie hurt his ankle in shooting yesterday and has gone for a scan today but hopefully it is nothing too serious.
"Vass and Kieran Sadlier both have a bit of a hip problem, but it is Kieran's first full week of training and we've covered 40km. Icky has a problem because he got smacked on the ankle in a training game.
"We have got a few issues but we're hoping that none are long-term."
Warne on signing number four of the summer - Wes Harding...
"We're trying to sign players who don't need loads and loads of our attention. I know that sounds awful but we need players who can come in and if need be, play the first game of the season.
"We've tried to take, in our opinion, our level of recruitment up a bit.
"Wes is someone that I know played a lot of games last year and has been in and out of Birmingham's team and has played in many positions.
"He is a really good footballer, who crosses a really good ball. My son told me yesterday that everyone is buzzing because he can throw it over 10 metres.
"He suits us. He is aggressive and he wants to get forward. He isn't like a sedentary right back who just sits there and plays, he's dynamic.
"He's from a really nice family, he's a really good kid and he's played 50 odd Championship games before he was 22."
Warne on the derby games with Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday...
"It would be quite sad if the local games don’t have the crowds in. When I sign players here and I tell them what it’s like to play here, I say it’s a hotbed of football.
"When we play the Sheffield clubs and Barnsley it’s great because everyone lives close to each other and it’s brilliant.
"Without the crowds it won’t be the same, there’s no pretending otherwise. If we beat Sheffield Wednesday at home with no fans it would seem a waste, so it would be nice if we can get crowds in for them."
Warne on Crooks transfer speculation...
"There had been a phone call to the chairman but it was just a phone call, there’s been no official bidding going on. There hasn’t been a bid, so there’s nothing to address. At this moment in time I believe it is status quo. Until anything changes he’s my player and I intend him to be my player."
Warne on Freddie Ladapo fitness...
"I am concerned about it because he’s been one of the standout performers in pre-season, he’s gone out and worked on his left-foot, his hold-up play has improved no end and he looks in really good shape.
"He was down yesterday about his ankle, so I don’t think its amazing news but I’m not expecting the worst.
"The worst for me is that he could be out for a couple of weeks, I’m not expecting that but I’m preparing for that."
Warne hoping for Ladapo to make Sky Bet Championship impact...
"He’s the record signing and obviously his goals played a massive part in our success last year. He scores goals when no one else can and he will be a big part of what we do.
"No one wants their main goal scorer injured, that’s crazy talk. He doesn’t lack confidence, he thinks he can play at the top-level and he’s driven by his own determination and the kick-backs in his early career.
"I think he’ll be a real problem in the Championship for players, he can run, he’s brilliant at taking people on in the box and getting shots off. He obviously sees this as a big season but he’s no different to everybody else."
Warne on the prospect of new additions...
"We have, without tempting too much fate, a permanent goalkeeper all but signed and we’re hoping for a loan keeper after the weekend.
"We obviously need to strengthen in the middle of the park and bring in some cover at left-back and something up top.
"We’ve brought in Wes (Harding) and Angus (MacDonald) to add a little bit of Championship experience, so the squad is shaping up well."