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READ | Warne's pre-Bristol Rovers press highlights

16 January 2020

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne joined iFollow Millers to preview the visit of Bristol Rovers to AESSEAL New York Stadium in Sky Bet League One this weekend.

The Millers discussed his side’s current league position, the link with out of contract midfielder Ben Marshall, a deal for Jacob Gratton and Joshua Kayode’s loan as well as giving team news and sending his thoughts to Bristol Rovers boss Ben Garner.

There are two videos available to watch here on iFollow Millers.

 

Warne on being top of the league at present...

"It is nice, I won't say it isn't. Every weekend you're always thinking 'if that result goes that way and that one goes that way, we can get into the Play-offs or the top two' whatever the case may be.

"You're always trying to get to the pinnacle and it is nice for us being there but we've now got to try and fight to stay up there as long as we can.

 

Warne on win over Oxford United...

"I think the best two teams that we have played have been Oxford and Coventry. They've been the best footballing sides and it is hard to get the ball off them. They play between the lines and they ask questions of your defenders.

"For us to go there and win is great. If you'd offered me a draw beforehand, not that we went to draw, I'd have taken a point on the road.

"We went in an attacking way and tried to take the game to them as best we could and fortunately for us, it worked."

 

Warne on recent Kyle Vassell contribution...

"I've always been really pleased with him, hence why I wanted to convince him to stay at the club. 

"He's done really well. Last season in the Championship we accumulated more points with him in the team than not, I don't know how many people know that. 

"He did really well last year playing out of position. Since he has played up top he's done very well. In fairness, so has Smudge and so has Freddie, who has scored more goals than anyone. They're all vying for the one or two spots and the more competition there is, the better we are."

"All strikers want to score goals but I think in fairness to Vass, his overall play has been really good. He goes into the positions where defenders don't really want to go with him, he wins free kicks, he's got a bit of craft and he's added goals, which is what people look for in a striker."

 

Warne on professional deal for Jacob Gratton...

"It's good. He's been at the club for years.

"To stay in the Academy for as long as he has isn't easy because every year it is a tough school. To get a YT and then do really well for the Academy is hard work.

"He's been training up here and we really like him. He's scored goals and when he has trained up here he hasn't looked out of place. That's a massive endorsement for how well he has done and how the youth team staff have helped to develop him. We'll get him really fit and he'll come back in the summer [when his scholarship ends] and we'll start the next stage of his development and we're excited to see how that goes."

 

Warne on Joshua Kayode moving up the pyramid to join Carlisle United on loan...

"We're really pleased with him. He went to Gateshead because we wanted him to play men's football. We wanted him to realise the importance of winning every week and to score goals and lead the line. 

"Sometimes in youth and reserve football, the result isn't imperative but obviously it is in first team football. It developed him really well and I want to thank Gateshead for what they've done, they've definitely improved him. 

"We had him back for a few days, he trained with us and we're really pleased with the physical shape he's in. He's a good kid and he's signed a new deal and we've sent him out for the next stage of his development.

"Hopefully he can go to Carlisle and play a part and if he does really well, comes back in the summer to fight for a place in the first team squad."

 

Warne on Ben Marshall link...

"I went to meet the player and his agent and had a good couple of hours with them. At this moment in time, it isn't something which Ben wants to do, which is no problem.

"I wanted him to come in and we knew we'd have to get him really fit, but at the moment he's not in a place that he wants to join us, which is absolutely fine."

 

Warne on team news ahead of Bristol Rovers clash...

"I don't think I have any issues from the Oxford game. I might have some on the periphery but not with the starting XI.

"He's [Joe Mattock] had an injection in his back which we're hoping will settle down by this weekend. It should have only taken 24 hours but it has been a bit longer. That is something that we'll have to monitor with the medical staff.

"He's [Shaun MacDonald] trained this week and maybe this weekend is too soon. He hasn't really done any big area football yet. He might be included in the squad."

 

Warne on Bristol Rovers test...

"They're a team who are fighting to get their results back on track. They've got a managerial issue in that he's dealing with a family matter, so I feel for him. All the players will be playing for him, as they will the coaches in charge.

"They'll be desperate to get their form back and it happens to all teams throughout the season, everyone has dips. 

"They've got a really good team with good players, hence why they've been in the top six for virtually all the season. They've recruited a few in the window, so I expect changes to the team who played against Coventry in midweek.

"All we can do is be at our absolute best and if we are, then we're a difficult team for anyone.

 

Warne on coming up against Jonson Clarke-Harris...

"He's been linked to a few moves this January window, so he knows that people are watching him I presume. He is their main goal threat, everything goes through him.

"If Jono is right on the money then he is a difficult player to try and keep quiet. We're well-aware of his threats, although they do have others, but he is their leading light."

 

Warne sends his thoughts to Bristol Rovers boss Ben Garner...

"For a football manager not to be at work it has to be something pretty serious, which is pretty horrendous and it puts your life into context.

"A lot of things have been well-documented around here recently and everyone tries their hardest to win football games. 

"For him, as his first job, to come away from it so soon, means it must be something serious, so obviously my thoughts are with him and his family during a difficult time."


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