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READ | Warne's pre-Rochdale press highlights

6 March 2020

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on press duties with iFollow Millers ahead of the trip to Rochdale in Sky Bet League One on Saturday...

The Millers boss reflected on the opportunity missed against MK Dons, becoming the hunter rather than the hunted in second place in Sky Bet League One, his thoughts on how his side have 'gelled' and Dan Barlaser's latest injury update.

Read in full below or watch the video content on iFollow Millers shortly by clicking HERE

Warne on MK Dons draw...

"Since Russell [Martin] has taken over, they've played really well. They have picked up loads of points and they are a really good footballing side.

"I thought we limited them to two or three chances really, if that. We dominated the ball and the chances, we just didn't take them, it is as simple as football is sometimes.

"Sometimes you win when you possibly don't deserve it and sometimes you don't. We were really pleased with the performance and the lads know that and we just have to build them up again for the next game.

 

Warne on conceding top spot to Coventry City...

"It's weird. I think it is worse [being second]. I would much rather be top because you're allowed one slip-up and you'll still probably be top or second. If you have a slip up when you're second you could be fifth.

"It is going to change loads between now and the end of the season I think. Not necessarily who is going to be top, because Coventry could win every game as they have been and take the title. 

"Fighting for those other places is going to be really tough. Fleetwood have now hit really good form, they beat Ipswich away in midweek, so they're right in it, as are Portsmouth. Sunderland are and people forget about Wycombe, who have been in the top three virtually every week of the season.

"One week we'll think we've got it sussed and the next we'll be in absolute Doomsville, so there is no dramas. There's 10 games left and I'm looking forward to getting into single figures."

 

Warne on his reflective thoughts on early season comments about the team needing to 'gel'...

"I try not to tel fibs and I honestly thought that once we got them drilled in exactly what we wanted them to do we'd be laughing and hence why we try not to sign loads every summer.

"When we had the conversation, we could see them on a daily basis and we spend loads of time with them, so we know how much they want to improve.

"We saw how hard they trained, but it just wasn't clicking at home.

"As the season progressed, the lads had more trust in what we were telling them to do and more success and then more trust in each other, because they knew each other better.

"I harp on about trying to get my way pre-season and really trying to get into them because it is fundamental to success. I don't like having loads of changes in January, I think if you get your recruitment right in the summer, I think you should be there or thereabouts anyway.

"All-in-all, they have gelled as a group. Whether they are going to be successful or not, I don't know. If the season was to finish today I would be hugely proud of what they've achieved."

 

Warne on whether the work in pre-season and players' fitness comes to the fore at this stage of the season...

"It is a bit of everything - a fitness, togetherness and a mental strength possibly.

"I think it is more of a mental strength you need now. All of the things we try and do with them and Ross [Burbeary] does with them off the training pitch in the gym is just adding to their character and determination to succeed.

"We say it all the time that we train so hard and we live an breathe the football club every day. We try and improve and prepare them as best we can to have success for everybody."

 

Warne on the situation looking much brighter on the injury front...

"We've done really well. We've had a couple of muscle injuries and some freakish ones.

"We've got virtually everyone back now apart from Robbo and even his is a bit freakish.

"Dan Barlaser looks like he's got the all-clear with all of his scans, which is good. He'll be back into training towards the back end of this week or the start of next.

"In that respect, we've done really well and that is why we try and recruit as well as we can. 

"We try and get good athletes because it is usually the case that good athletes get injured less."

 

Warne on Rochdale...

"They are [still a footballing side] although they have probably gone a little bit more direct over recent weeks possibly and that could be for numerous reasons. The pitches have a lot to do with it, it is a lot harder to play total football in the middle of March on wet pitches.

"I really like the way they've played this year and they've done well in the cups. They've sold a player here and there and I think they're a really good club.

"We lost at home to Rochdale, so I don't want to be on the end of a six point swing.

"They'll want to points as much as us, but in fairness, you can play a team in the relegation places who need a point, a team in the middle of the league who are playing for their own careers who are even more dangerous, and you have the teams at the top who have full out pressure. 

"There are no easy games. We could play, no disrespect Maltby here tomorrow and for 60 minutes, they'd give us a right game. That's how football is."


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