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READ | Warne's pre-AFC Wimbledon press highlights

13 February 2020

Club News

READ | Warne's pre-AFC Wimbledon press highlights

13 February 2020

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Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on press duties with iFollow Millers ahead of hosting of AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The Millers boss discussed Matt Crooks dealing with an emotional few weeks, the improving Hakeeb Adelakun, Clark Robertson's injury situation, a blow for Jacob Gratton and the challenge of facing AFC Wimbledon...

You can find video content on iFollow Millers shortly by clicking HERE


Warne's Lincoln reflections...

"I thought we played really well. We did give them a couple of chances that weren't ideal and on another day they might have taken them.

"I thought we kept the ball really well and probably should have done better in the final third but overall the lads' performance was excellent.

"It was a great night under the lights, the fans were excellent and it felt like a cup game."


Warne on Crooks dealing with emotional couple of weeks...

"He's a great kid to be fair. I was there when he got the news and he went home from the Peterborough game which was absolutely heartbreaking and I think it had a ripple effect through the team.

"Ever since then, his performances have been good. He possibly hasn't been as sharp as normal but he has been desperate to get a goal.

"I'm glad he got that goal for his friend and it was quite fitting when Woody scored the other week against Ipswich as well.

"I was really pleased for him because it has been a tough time and a tough season for a few of us."


Warne on another clean sheet...

"It was great for Dan [Iversen]. 

"He made a great save and obviously clean sheets aid promotions, it makes picking up three points a lot easier.

"Dan didn't have a great deal to do but when he did, I thought he was at his excellent best."


Warne on the improving Adelakun and criteria to play out wide...

"He was excellent, Haks.

"I pulled him in the meeting on Monday and Tuesday about certain aspects of his game and I think that when he runs with the ball and does things quickly, he's virtually unplayable.

"If you have him on one side and Chieo on the other at their best then we're a tough team to play. Obviously with Josh here and Trev, Wilesy and even Matt Olosunde, if they play like that we're tough to match up.

"I think my coaches should be applauded really. Hammy has done a lot of work with Chieo. I think Chieo's work rate is good but his actual delivery into the box, I didn't think was amazing when he came, but he has improved no end and that is down to Hammy really.

"Richie has done a lot of work with Haks out of possession. 

"His work ethic has been great. When we sign new players it does take a bit of time to understand exactly what it means to play for us and the efforts we put into games and training is paying dividends at the moment."


Warne on absence of a midweek fixture and teams keeping up the pressure...

"I went to the Coventry game.

"When you're driving home you're looking at scores thinking 'please don't score a goal' and you knew Fleetwood were winning at Wycombe, so I was thinking I hope they hold on but I know Wycombe love a late goal.

"There is a lot of hoping and fingers crossing and you turn into a fan yourself a bit.

"It was nice not to have the pressure of a game on Tuesday and let the lads have a bit of down time because we have a massive third of the season to go.

"It is a massive push and there is loads of the season left. There will be loads of change in the top six or eight in the next few weeks and we just have to try and win our games and stay as high as we can."


Warne's pre-AFC Wimbledon team news...

"He's [Joe Mattock] good. He's training today. 

"Billy Jones is starting training today and he won't do the full session but he's training.

"Curtis Tilt is training today, so apart from Robbo we've virtually got a full echelon of players, which is great.


Warne on Clark Robertson's injury...

"Robbo did some running on the anti-gravity treadmill and he was running at 20% which he should have been able to do comfortably but he didn't. 

"He was in pain, so he's now going to see someone else.

"That might drag on a little bit longer which is unfortunate for Clark obviously.

"We'll know more hopefully by the end of the week."


Warne on Jacob Gratton injury...

"Gratts signed his first pro contract and he has done his Cruciate, so he is going to be eight or nine months [out of action] possibly.

"The physios and fitness team here are excellent, so they will get him back in amazing shape. He is now going to start coming into here, taking him away from the Academy, because he is a pro now. No disrespect, but we can help him a bit more because we have more equipment and resources available to him up here.

"We'll try and get him as strong as we can in his Quad before his op and we'll be here to support him.

"He'll come back after his injury and no doubt be keen as mustard in eight months.

"He'll come back a lot stronger and he's got a lot of pain to go through in that respect, but also he'll be involved in all the meetings and see how the lads conduct themselves, so he'll have a slower learning curve.

"He knows we think the world of him and we'll be right behind him."


Warne on challenge of facing AFC Wimbledon...

"They've changed staff [since the first game] for one. There are a few different faces here and there but the core of the side is similar.

"Their results haven't been amazing but they drew against Burton and the two previous games they narrowly lost.

"They're scoring goals, getting crosses into the box and they play two up top.

"They drew with Ipswich in midweek which is no mean feat and they beat Peterborough at home last month, so they're a team that if you underestimate them, they can come and bite you. We really have to be at our best to beat them.

"Dawsy [Nick Daws] is one of the coaches and I love him, he's a great bloke. He's seen us play no end this year and he knows where our weaknesses are, that is for sure.

"We have to be right at it."




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