Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty this morning, ahead of Saturday’s clash with Preston North End at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
On the agenda for the Millers boss were topics including Joe Mattock’s injury, the need to sharpen up in attack, his alternative options at left-back, Preston’s impressive away form and the possibility of signing a free agent on loan.
You can read the highlights from the interview below.
Warne’s Luton Town reflections and the need to be more ruthless in attack…
"We were very good first half and having watched it back, we weren't as disappointing in the second as I first thought.
"However, Luton did have a 15 minute spell of full energy where they could have taken a couple of chances.
"All I want to see really is the same effort with just a bit more cutting edge up top.
"I'm not saying that from a personnel point of view, it is the responsibility of everyone to put their bodies on the line in the final third.
"At the moment, that is my one criticism. I think our overall play has been good and apart from conceding three against Reading, our Goals Against tally is good and we're moving the ball well.
"In the final third, our set pieces haven't been as good and neither has our final ball. I am always looking for football utopia and we want perfection on everything but we're disappointed that we're not picking up enough points, even though our performances have been reasonable.
Warne on Joe Mattock injury…
"He has damaged his hamstring, so he will be out for two to three weeks.
"He's had a scan on it and it is a Grade 2 which is unfortunate - it is the first proper muscle injury this season.
"He won't be available for this weekend."
Warne on alternative left back options and the performance of Ben Wiles in that position…
"We have a couple of options or we could play a different way but we'll be fine.
"That is what was disappointing about the game the other night really - I thought Wilesy was our best player.
"Most talented footballers can play in different positions and he can do that but we'd worked on him being a '10' and the creative link to help us to try and create more goalscoring opportunities.
"That is probably the bit that we're missing and the most important part.
"For him to go back to left back wasn't ideal but it is a team sport, so you have to make sacrifices sometimes.
"At the moment, it is an option for us to play Wilesy there quite obviously but we would lose something in the middle of the park.
Warne on further injury news ahead of the hosting of Preston North End…
"We've just got one other injury issue which I don't really want to put out there. Apart from that, we should be good.
"It is the same for Preston in fairness because they went down to Reading and got a really good win, so they will be a touch jaded as well. I expect both teams will probably freshen it up a little bit because it is the last game we've got until we can start working with the lads in a different way.
Warne on Jamal Blackman nursing a knock in recent weeks…
"He has been struggling for a few weeks now with his ankle.
"His actual goalkeeping was excellent the other night but his kicking wasn't up to his usual standard.
"He's got pain when he flexes his ankle, so that has been a problem and it was a problem for us because every time we got the ball we gave it them back.
"Hopefully he should be alright for the weekend but we need to get to this international break for him to have some down time and maybe get in an injection in it, let it recover and get himself fully right."
Warne on Preston North End and their excellent away form…
"I just don't think there is any home or away advantage anymore - I think every game is on its own merit.
"If you play Preston at home or away, in my opinion it is the same game.
"When we played Stoke last weekend it wasn't like we went there and there were 30,000 fans encouraging their time, it is very much a neutral playing ground.
"In the same way that when we played Luton, we really missed the fans. When Luton were on top, that's when you really need the home fans to help you out and get you back into it.
"Preston are playing quite well at home but they don't have the extra edge of their home support.
"We have always had competitive games with them over the last few seasons and I think it will be another one come Saturday."
Warne on the possibility of adding a free agent to his squad…
"I am looking. Whether that means there is an opportunity to bring someone in, we don't know yet.
"I think it is a big blow losing Macca [Shaun MacDonald] in midfield.
"At this moment in time we are playing with three central midfielders and we've only got four in the building. When you're playing two games a week and with the way we play, it is physically exhausting.
"If I could bring a midfielder in, with a good wind, I think I would.
"Obviously January will be big for every club."