Rotherham United boss Paul Warne was on press duty talking to iFollow Millers ahead of a second trip to St. Andrew’s in the 2020/21 campaign, this time to face Coventry City in the Sky Bet Championship.
Following encouraging performances against high-flying outfits AFC Bournemouth and Brentford in their most recent two outings, the Millers manager discussed those effort levels, the newly-employed 3-5-2 system and his praise for his players for retaining information.
Also on the agenda was team news ahead of the clash with the Sky Blues and the importance of not over-stimulating his players for the game against Mark Robins’ men.
You can read the highlights from his interview below, with video content to follow shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.
Warne on performance levels against promotion favourites Bournemouth and Brentford...
"I was pleased with the performance in both games and I think we may have edged it against Bournemouth in fairness.
"I thought we were really good first half against Brentford, who are definitely my nemesis. Second half I thought they had a bit more control and their first goal they took really, although it was a mistake from us.
"I don't think they really cut us open and late in the game we were throwing the kitchen sink.
"Overall, I'm really pleased but at the same time, I've just been talking to a couple of lads in the gym and we were inches away from scoring.
"Smudge ran across the box and if Freddie had gone a second sooner he would have got it. If Jamie Lindsay had gone an inch sooner and not stopped himself with Angus' ball across the six yard box, he might have got a goal.
"We're not far off. We're pleased with the performances and normally points come off the back of that."
Warne on the team adapting to the new 3-5-2 formation...
"That is massive credit to my coaches - Rich and Hammy - and to the players because they have to take on the information.
"There is a massive physical demand for the front five and with five subs it gives you more confidence to experiment with systems because if it isn't working you can flip it straight away.
"It is a system that we'll obviously use again."
Warne's praise for players retaining masses of information in congested season...
"It is difficult.
"We're going to do a debrief from the game on Tuesday night and then start on Coventry.
"We have got to quickly get the information out about them and they play two different systems and we don't know which they'll play, so we have to give the lads all of the information for that.
"The psychological demands are nearly as great as the physiological ones for us.
"Last night I was watching Forest and Watford so it is just a relentless learning process."
Warne on injury situation pre-Coventry City...
"I don't think we have anyone else back, but we do have Icky back from suspension.
"Most of our injuries are long-term until around February which is a massive blow.
"It is just about trying to keep the lads out on the pitch for as long as we can.
"Joe Mattock and Matt Olosunde were massive doubts before the game, hence why I took them off and went more attacking.
"We will do very little on the grass today and it will be mostly classroom work as we try and get people taped up for Saturday."
Warne on facing Coventry City...
"It'll be a tough game and we [Mark Robins] obviously know each other really well.
"Robbo knows me really well and I presume he'll know what to expect from our team, as we do with theirs.
"I was disappointed last year when we played there and drew because I really thought it was time to grab the division by the scruff of the neck and try to run away with it.
"It was a game of two halves last time we were there - we dominated the first and them the second.
"They have plenty of strengths and are a real possession-based team who can change their shape in a hearbeat.
"They have loads of midfield rotations and we have to be aware of that but they have weaknesses like every other team in this league, so we need to go there really positive and try and get a win. If we don't we've got another game three days later."
Warne on familiarity of playing at St. Andrew's...
"It is sort of a home from home.
"We've played there already and we know the COVID set up. We know where we're getting changed and they are nice big rooms which is great, so it will feel comfortable I suppose."
Warne on whether this game is a 'six-pointer'...
"Obviously it is an important game, but there are so many games so quickly, if you don't win you just have to let it go and get to the next one.
"We big up all the games and I won't big this one up any greater because the whole over-arousal thing can turn it into a game that it isn't, and one of our lads leathers someone after three minutes and gets sent off because they're wired to the hilt.
"That is of no benefit. We have complete trust in what our players do, they have to make decisions themselves, but the way that they have been playing is good and if they play to the standards they've been playing at then we should have a good game on Saturday where hopefully we can come away with something."