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READ | Warne's pre-Salford City press highlights

3 September 2020

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Manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duties ahead of the big kick off for the 2020/21 campaign. He took time out at Roundwood ahead of the club's first competitive fixture since March, which comes in the form of a Carabao Cup first round trip to Salford City.

On the agenda were topics including team news, his evaluation of the pre-season schedule and the proposition that awaits his side at the Peninsula Stadium, while he also discussed new goalkeeping addition Viktor Johansson and where else he would ideally like to strengthen his side before the transfer window closes.

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


Warne on team news...

"I have a few [injuries]. Trev [Clarke] unfortunately got injured playing for Ireland on Tuesday night.

"He's injured his calf.

"We've got a few little niggles which we would expect at this time of the season, but we should be able to put a decent side out and there shouldn't be too many problems."


Warne on his pre-season evaluations...

"It's gone really well.

"It has been a bit surreal playing without crowds and a lot of teams have wanted to keep results quiet which I understand.

"It has felt odd in that respect but it has enabled our players to play without people making quick assumptions on their abilities. They can settle in without people thinking they look a bad or a good signing.

"In a weird way it has possibly been okay for the team.

"We had a game at the stadium the other day with nobody there, which was really strange.

"Overall, we've been really happy with the way the lads have played.

"We probably haven't had as strong as opposition as we would in other pre-seasons so it is harder to gauge exactly where we are at the moment, but hopefully we're in a good place. The lads are confident and they've managed to score a lot of goals in pre-season so we go into it with a smile on our face I think."


Warne on Johansson signing...

"It was the best kept secret really.

"We've been trying to get him for weeks and weeks.

"It was the recruitment team who put him in front of us. We watched loads of goalkeepers in the summer and we all quite liked him.

"Because of lockdown and the whole COVID-19 outbreak we couldn't get him over [from Sweden] for ages. In the end it came to a decision that we would get him here and he would have to sit in the hotel for two weeks.

"The kid was happy to do that, which was a massive tick box for me from a personality point of view.

"I knew within the first hour of the first session that I wanted to sign him. The way he played on his clips he looked really good, his player review and diligence testing we did on him came back with flying colours.

"He was at the right age, prepared to come in and improve to become our number one, whenever that may be. It might be next week or it might be next year.

"The lads really liked him, his attitude was spot on and I think he is ideal for the way that we want to play."


Warne on how the summer recruits have settled into life at Roundwood...

"Alright I think. It's been an elongated pre-season so for the likes of Mickel, it must feel like he's been here for six months.

"For the other lads it has been a bit different.

"They're not all fully compliant on how we play just yet - there are still some little grey areas that they are possibly not sure on.

"They are quick learners and good lads, so I think they are settling in well. As a group they're really close and personality-wise they get on."


Warne on competition for places...

"It gives me more headaches but there is good competition, for sure.

"At the moment we have - apart from Trev being injured at left back - two players for each position.

"We've only got three proper wingers in the building, so possibly could do with another attacking option but on the whole, there is good competition everywhere.

"Everyone tells me that is really good, but it gives me a bigger headache when we pick the team!"


Warne on the potential of adding further players to his squad...

"Yeah, we are. I think we need another midfielder.

"At the moment we have four but Wilesy is injured so we're down to three, which isn't enough to hit a Championship season.

"A midfielder and another attacking option would be the most prevelant in my thoughts at the moment."


Warne on the challenge of facing Salford City in the Carabao Cup first round...

"I'm expecting a very tough challenge.

"The way they play is difficult to play against. They've been playing a 4-3-3 with their two wide men coming inside.

"They've got Henderson from Rochdale, who is a really good player. We know all their players but I really like Henderson and they've got Richie Towell who used to be here as well.

"It will be a game that they will want to win, in the same way that I remember playing for Rotherham against the likes of Derby in the cup games which were big games for us.

"We want to get into a habit of winning football games as soon as we can, so I expect a really, really tough game."


Warne on whether his team on Saturday is likely to been indicative of the starting XI at Wycombe Wanderers...

"It isn't so much a case of experimenting.

"There is no doubting that I want to win the game and we'll put a team out to try and do that. We'll give everything we can to win the game.

"I won't offend the cup and use it as a practice game, but hopefully it will enable us to try a couple of different things. On the whole, we just want to go and win the game.

"I have to think which will be the best XI to win this game, and then the best XI to win the Wycombe game and that's how we're going to try and attack it."

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