Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of Saturday’s clash with Norwich City at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Sadly, the Millers will take to the field this weekend without their manager in the dugout, with Warne entering a period of self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 test for a family member.
The manager was in good spirits, as he took time out to speak to us via Zoom, on the agenda were adapting to football management during self-isolation, facing his boyhood club Norwich City and his transfer plans ahead of Friday’s transfer window deadline.
You can read the highlights from the interview below, with video content to follow shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.
Warne on self-isolation…
“Everyone is okay, it was a bit of a shock last week when we got the text to say that someone had tested positive. I’m lucky that I’ve covered myself with many great coaches, so delegation isn’t a problem for me because I know they will be prepared.
“They’ve kindly filmed training for me, which is weird because my days get flipped around. At the minute they are getting harder as they go on, while usually the intensity is in the morning. I’ve been getting the footage around 2pm, so I watch it studiously. Afterwards, I’ve been reaching out to players who have done well, as well as having Zoom conversations with the coaches on what I’ve seen and to gauge their opinions.
“I’m speaking to Rich (Richie Barker) and Hammy (Matt Hamshaw) everyday, discussing what we’ll be doing in the sessions, so that’s been good. What has been good is because it’s filmed from the top of the hill I get a different angle and more of an attention to detail that I wouldn’t have had if I was at ground level.”
Warne on team news…
“There are no new issues, we’ve got a full squad of players which is great. The international break has been really helpful because players like Trev (Trevor Clarke) and Robbo (Clark Robertson) have had some really good time to train, it’s been really good for them to get minutes in. It’s been nice to train them without having to prepare for a game, it means it can be more of an educational week.”
“I still think Dan Barlaser is getting used to the speed of our training, so we’ll see how he is today. He’ll be no doubt competing for a place in the middle on Saturday and hopefully he can play apart, that’s what I signed him in for.”
Warne on deadline day…
“I’m hopeful of getting one in, we lost Chieo (Ogbene) who is a big part of our play and a big personality as well, so we need a bit more guile. We’ve done really well in all the games which I’ve been very pleased with, but we probably haven’t created enough chances to win games. With losing Chieo we just need an extra cutting-edge, which I’m hoping the player will provide.
“In terms of out, a defender is close to joining another club on loan, and another might be leaving as well. It’s never nice to see people leave, but it was the same when Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) left for Accrington. I needed him to play games and get fit, and he came back and played a massive part for us. Anyone we loan is still part of this club and if they do really well, they’ll be coming back to play apart.”
Warne on managing a team against boyhood club Norwich…
“I’ll obviously be watching it on iFollow Millers and having a live link from the bench. It’ll be quite good, I think if I wasn’t so vocal on the side of the pitch I’d quite like to manage from higher up. You get a great angle of the game and probably get a different perception to ground level.
“Obviously not being there isn’t ideal, but I have a lot of trust in my staff. It is surreal playing Norwich without a crowd in and obviously without being in the dugout, but it’s all about the lads, not about me. We want to get them to a level where they can give Norwich a good game. I’m looking forward to it and it should be a really good test.
“Norwich were a Premier League team just a few months ago, so we’re well aware of the enormity of the challenge, but I have full belief in the lads that we can go toe-to-toe with them and if we take our chances we’ll have a great chance.”
Warne on the prospect of listening to Honorary Life President John Breckin’s punditry on iFollow Millers commentary…
“I love John (John Breckin), I take loads of advice from him, so whatever he says is good for me. I might hear something just before I do my team talk and take it into there. He knows the game more than I do, and I always lean on him for advice, I look forward to watching the game.”