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READ | Warne's pre-Birmingham City press highlights

24 September 2020

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne spoke to iFollow Millers ahead of his side's trip to St. Andrew's to face Birmingham City this Saturday.

On the agenda were topics including his latest team news, the challenge that awaits his side in the Second City and the performance against Millwall last Saturday. 

You can read the highlights from his interview below, with video content to follow shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.

Warne on his team’s performance against Millwall last Saturday…

“I thought we played really well, we had a lot of the play and put a lot of crosses in their box. The only disappointment is that we didn’t create enough clear chances, but the actual effort from the lads, the drive from the team and the belief that they were going to win was very encouraging. We both limited ourselves to very few chances and it’s not like we’re getting cut open or anything. This is due to the work-rate all the way through the pitch. The lads are in really good shape, they are really well organised and work really hard.”

Warne on his side’s start to the season…

“I think it’s a little too early to make a full assessment but at the moment we’re in a good place, the lads think we’re going to have a really good season and so do I. We go into every game thinking we’re going to win, we were hugely disappointed not to come away with anything at the weekend, but now we go into the Birmingham and Huddersfield games looking forward to both.”

Warne on partnerships developing on the pitch…

“I was very encouraged on Saturday, Chieo (Ogbene) and Wes (Harding) were very good, in fairness Matty (Olosunde) and Chieo had a great understanding last year too. In the latter part of the game against Millwall, Wilsey (Ben Wiles) and Joe Mattock linked up and they understand each other well, also, Jamie Lindsay and Shaun MacDonald have been good in the middle. The more they play together the better the understanding will get. Partnerships are crucial, every manager wants to have a settled team that play every week and perform really well to get those relationships. However, the way the lads train and the culture we’ve developed here, I expect players to have a good understanding even when I do change it.”

Warne on league debuts for Angus MacDonald and George Hirst…

“Both of them were really good and I expect them to get better and better. If that is their starting standard then I’m really pleased.”

Warne on transfers…

“Things are progressing slowly at the minute, the financial climate has really staggered the market. I’m still trying to get in the people I want to get in, I’m not trying to push people out the door but some players understand that their opportunities to get in the first-team may be limited at the moment, but everything from the Championship down below is quite slow right now. We’ve still got a couple of weeks and I’m still expecting some different names on different pegs, but as of yet there’s not much to say.”

Warne on the fitness of Clark Robertson and Richard Wood…

“Woody (Richard Wood) is fine. Robbo (Clark Robertson) is out for the weekend with a sore quad, Curtis (Tilt) is now in full training but he hasn’t really kicked a ball in anger for six months, so he’s got a few games to get through before he is contention. Apart from that we’re a really healthy group, which is good.”

Warne on Trevor Clarke…

“I was hoping to have Trev (Trevor Clarke) back this week but he’s had a little bit of a setback, hopefully he’ll be back in full training next week. He did really well in pre-season and stood out. For him to get injured at that time was disappointing for him, because he was definitely in contention to play at Salford, so who knows how his season would have started. Now he has to fight his way back in again and he’s got a lot of competition in front of him, he’s a feisty kid though, so he’ll be all right.”

Warne on Birmingham City…

“Every game in this league is tough, everyone we play asks us different questions. It will be a big test for us, I really like Lukas Jutkiewicz up top, he is a massive handful, reliable and works really hard. I’m well aware of their strengths and it will be a tough game for us. Karanka’s teams are set up not to concede and they don’t get many goals against them. They limit you to very few chances, so we’re going to have to be very clinical and patient in front of goal. He’s got a lot of experience in his team who know how to get results.”

Warne on fans being unable to attend matches…

“It’s sad, I think six months is worst case scenario, I always try to look on the optimistic side. I know how important football is in communities, people work all week and look forward to the Saturdays watching their team. Socially it’s quite alienating playing without football teams in the community and without fans in the stadium. These are our fans, in this building we all have our own people who come, and these are important people for us. It’s disappointing at the moment that they can’t come back because it is such a big part of so many people's lives. Hopefully, they will come back sooner than we think.”


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