Rotherham United boss Paul Warne spoke to the local media for the final time in 2020 as he addressed them on New Year's Eve looking ahead to the hosting of Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship.
Up for discussion was an update on the health of his squad after the Covid-19 outbreak, alongside a general fitness update. There was also a chance to discuss the upcoming January transfer window and former midfielder Will Vaulks, who returns to South Yorkshire with the Bluebirds on Saturday.
Below are the highlights...
Warne on squad health in the build-up to Cardiff City...
"We're not too bad. I think I should be able to get another three players back onto the grass tomorrow so that is a positive.
"I should have three more bodies potentially available for Saturday which is quite good.
"My long-termers are edging closer every week."
Warne on likelihood of returning players starting the game against the Bluebirds...
"It is a bit of a difficult one.
"Three weeks out with only kicking a ball for a day is not ideal. It isn't ideal but we've got a few issues - not massive ones - so if I think it strengthens the team to play someone who has only trained for a day, who looks physically capable and they only play 65 or 70 minutes I think it is something I would consider."
Warne on fitness and performance levels against Barnsley...
"I think I said in an interview before the game, that it was the first time I was going into a game not knowing what I was going to get out of the group.
"Physically they gave me everything.
"I think both physically and emotionally it took a lot out of them.
"I spoke to one of my players today who said he felt like he'd had a really good night out and had jelly legs the day after, which he hasn't had for years he reckons!
"I think it has taken a bit out of them because of the body shock when you haven't trained for so long. Hopefully they get their legs back. We didn't do a great deal today and we won't tomorrow. We should have a bit more sharpness for the game on Saturday."
Warne on January transfer window approaching...
"I am hopeful something would happen quickly but I am also a realist and knowing how these windows go, understand if that isn't the case.
"As all clubs do in this window, we come in wanting to reinforce and the quick succession of games has taken a lot out of a lot of squads.
"We're fortunate that we haven't had loads of muscle injuries, but we definitely do need to strengthen in a few positions.
"The honest part of my brain tells me that I don't foresee anything happening in the first week - it doesn't feel like we're that close."
Warne on impact of additional substitutes on transfer market...
"It definitely has made a different. What has also happened because of the multitude of games throughout December, a lot of teams have picked up a lot of injuries.
"Players who weren't initially in the 18, now the 20, have crept into the squad and got onto the pitch and maybe done well and all of a sudden are back in the manager's plans.
"That has also been a bit of a problem when we've had certain targets that we think could make happen.
"A week down the line you're watching the scores come in and we're all texting each other saying 'he's only starting!'
"You never get too excited until the window actually opens and you can actually make things happen."
Warne on the test against Cardiff City...
"A few weeks ago they rallied really well, got some good results and Kieffer, who used to be in my family tree was playing really well and scoring goals.
"He's been injured and I think they've missed him as a focal point.
"They've struggled a little bit with results but all teams in the Champ go through periods of not being able to pick up a win, then go and pick three or four up on the spin.
"They've been on the wrong side of a couple of results lately.
"They're playing a 4-4-2 and Will Vaulks is throwing it in from everywhere which brings a tear to my eye as well!
"They've been good in parts and perhaps not as good as they'd like to be in others, if that's fair.
"They will want to be in the top half of the league challenging for the Play-off places and at the moment they are just a little bit off that but that could be due to many, many things."
Warne on Will Vaulks...
"I need to speak to him when I see him on Saturday because he doesn't need to do the flip when there are no fans in the stadium, does he?!
"I used to have a bit of a strop when he did it because I used to think it was an unnecessary physical risk!
"He's scored some goals recently, he's playing really well and he's a great kid and a great driver of the team.
"He gets under the skin of the opposition which is really good and quite unique in the modern day. He's doing really well and I'm very pleased for him but I obviously don't want him to do well against us."