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READ | Warne's pre-Wycombe Wanderers press highlights

10 September 2020

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duties ahead of the first game of the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship campaign. The boss took time out at Roundwood ahead of his side’s first second tier clash of the season at Wycombe Wanderers this Saturday.

On the agenda were topics including his team news ahead of the fixture, the challenge facing his side at Adams Park this weekend and his transfer plans for the remainder of the summer window.

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

 

Warne on team news…

"I’m only missing Curtis (Tilt), Wilsey (Ben Wiles) is back, Matt Olosunde is back, Woody (Richard Wood) is back after being sore at the weekend so we’ve got a lot of decisions to make. He (Richard Wood) got a bang on his back, he was struggling to walk on Monday, felt better Tuesday and Wednesday and will now train with the team today, so there’s no great concern there."


Warne on Kieran Sadlier’s debut vs Salford City

"He’s come on leaps and bounds, I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’s the one that stays out the longest practicing his set pieces, so that gains favours with the management team. Mickel (Miller) was one of the standout performers in pre-season but Sads (Kieran Sadlier) did well, so it’s his shirt to lose and Mickel has got to try and nick it off him."

 

Warne on last weekend's clash with Salford City…

"We played okay, not amazing but okay and created enough chances to win the game comfortably. The penalty was their only shot on target, so there wasn’t much more we could do, sometimes in football you just need a little bounce in the box or a bit of luck to go for you and it’s enough to win the game. We didn’t have that unfortunately, so we ended up drawing and losing on penalties."

 

Warne on Wycombe Wanderers test…

"It’s a big challenge, we thought we had a really good season and in the end they were only a couple of points behind us. When they played at our place they caused us all kinds of problems, I know it’s going to be a really tough game. Like us, they have a very similar side to last season, they play similar to us and work really hard. Wycombe are really good on set-pieces, I think they were only second to us on goals from set-pieces last year. I think it’ll be a really tough game and I think the job they’ve done at Wycombe is amazing, they’ll look forward to a really good season and take points off a lot of teams. I think its offensive already to say us and Wycombe are the favourites to go down, I personally don’t believe that and I think they will cause a lot of teams problems as they showed against Brentford at the weekend."

 

On the job Gareth Ainsworth has done at Wycombe…

"I think he’s done amazing, I voted for him to be the LMA Manager of the Year in all the leagues. He’s got a really good culture and signed a lot of good pros. I do think he has a genuine care for all his players which I think is essential and the fact he’s had all the promotions helps. They went into the play-offs last year and other teams talked them down, thinking there was no way they’d beat Fleetwood over two legs and then beat Oxford. So going on to win them was very impressive."

 

Warne on the competition in his squad…

"I am happy with the competition but I still want more. We’re trying to bring in players that can go on and compete for places or go on top of the players we have already got. I still think we need another couple of players to push standards in training and performances and that what we are trying to do, we want strong competition for places. Everyone is going to play a part here when the 25 man squad is put in."

 

Warne on his team’s chances this season…

"I think there’s a lot more believe in the group than last time, based on the understanding of the league. I think we need to score more goals, goals win points and games. In the Championship last time we were competitive in most games, but didn’t quite create enough chances to win games. The best players make the best decisions more regularly, I’m hoping and believing that the players we have now can do that. I think we’ve got a really good group and a hungry group who want to play, it’s our job to keep them all happy and motivated."

 

Warne on Michael Ihiekwe and Matt Crooks being included in the Sky Bet League One PFA Team of the Year…

"I was really pleased for them. Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) had the best season I’ve ever seen a player have in my whole career. I hardly remember him making any mistakes at all, whether that was in pre-season or the actual season. Crooksy (Matt Crooks), had an amazing season as well and is fundamental to everything we do. They both had good seasons, as did a lot of others, but for them to get the recognition is something they’ll be able to look back on as some honour."


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