Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duties ahead of his side’s home fixture with AFC Bournemouth at AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday.
His team are set for back-to-back home games against two of the pre-season promotion favourites and first up is an assignment against Jason Tindall’s side, where the Millers will be looking to build on their last home result, which saw them record victory against Preston North End.
On the agenda for the Millers boss were topics including the threats posed by AFC Bournemouth, his latest team news ahead of the clash and his attacking options.
You can read the highlights from his interview below, with video content to follow shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.
Warne on QPR…
“We were very disappointed with the first half and we were at Swansea as well. We made changes and the lads made a positive impact, the five subs rule means that we can make a number of changes when things aren’t going our way.
“I’m not highlighting individual performances, the lads gave me everything and do their best but for whatever reason we haven’t started great and it’s an uphill battle from then. In both games we’ve finished really well, I’ve watched it back, it’s definitely a penalty and Icky’s (Michael Ihiekwe’s) goal was not offside and we missed a couple of good chances.
“That makes it more frustrating because if that was the best we could be in the first half then we’d have to accept it, but it isn’t the case, all in all the response in the second half was good but we need to perform for the full game.”
Warne on the form of his strikers…
“Freddie has been creating opportunities in a lot of games and he’s getting in the right places, which Is good because eventually they’ll start going in for him. I thought that was the best Smudge (Michael Smith) has played all season, he looked really good and strong.
“We say the same thing to him that if he jumps for headers he’s one of the best at attacking balls, if you do that and you’re reliable up top, there’s a good chance you’ll play every week. So that was good and I was really pleased with his display and his goal was thoroughly deserved.
“I’m pleased for the strikers, Vass (Kyle Vassell) worked hard and George (Hirst) came on and worked hard as well. There’s good competition and with five subs, if we start with two there’s a good chance the other two are coming on at some stage.”
Warne on the importance of crossing…
“Most goals, even for the best teams come from getting crosses into the box, we watched Liverpool v Leicester at the weekend and as good as Liverpool were, their two goals came from two corners and a cross.
“It is definitely a successful way to score goals and create chances. That is definitely the case for us, it is part of our DNA. Wes (Harding) is probably the best crosser of the ball we have at the moment, but we can’t rely on one player and the responsibility is for everyone.”
Warne on team news…
“There’s a few tired legs and tired minds, but hopefully the sun will be out for training tomorrow and we’ll pick them up again for what is going to a monumental battle.
“Joe (Mattock) wasn’t on the grass today, we’re just being cautious with him but we’re hopeful he’ll be fit for the weekend. Freddie (Ladapo) is a bit sore in his hip and we’re hoping he can train tomorrow as well but with both of them at the minute, we’re not sure, but more than hopeful they could be available.”
Warne on missing the fans…
“If ever there was a game where we need 10,000 fans behind us, it’s this one. It will be great when fans return, from a community point of view I’d love the fans to be back and I know how much it means to a lot of local people.
“I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fans and when I watch them on a Sunday if they win or lose it changes my mood massively, so I know how important it is to watch your team play and hopefully, sooner rather than later they can return.
“Two of the players have already told me they are missing the fan’s involvement, even more so away from home. Football is for people, sport is for football and our football club means so much to people here. It’s like the diamond of the town, I can only imagine how difficult it is for the fans.”
Warne on AFC Bournemouth…
“They’ve got very few weaknesses, they have pace and power on the ball and they can play out from the back. They’ve got outstanding talents attacking-wise and they’ve managed to keep virtually their whole Premier League together from last year.
“It’s no surprise that they and Norwich are the top two so far. They’ll come here well drilled and it’s our job to be really competitive and cause them problems. They are though, a very good team and there’s no disputing that.”