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READ | Warne's pre-Middlesbrough press highlights

21 April 2021

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne took time out ahead of Tuesday morning's training session at Roundwood to talk to iFollow Millers ahead of Wednesday night's televised hosting of Middlesbrough in Sky Bet Championship.

The Millers boss discussed the first 'official' return of former manager Neil Warnock and his coaching staff, whilst talking about the methods he picked up from his ex-gaffer and how he has used them this season.

Also on topic were Joe Mattock as he nears a first team return and a chance to reaffirm that the belief is still very much present around the club that Rotherham United can be a second tier club next season.

Below are the highlights from his interview, with video content set to follow shortly on iFollow Millers, HERE.

 

Warne on squad fitness after congested fixture week…

"We've got a few slight injuries and some lads struggling a little bit.

"That doesn't mean that they'll be out for a period of time but they might not be available for the next game.

"Generally speaking the lads are good. The sun is out and we've still got an opportunity to survive which is great. We've got less than three weeks left of the season to see how the table determines our efforts.

"Everyone is bang up for the battle and hopefully we can perform at a level again on Wednesday to get us three points."

 

Warne on giving his players a day off yesterday to rest and recuperate for the run-in…

"In fairness, I had a small number of players in, who just needed a little top up.

"The majority have played a lot of games and I think psychologically as well as physically they need the break from the football club.

"We let them have a down day, but if they had come in, it would have been for a very minimal session on the pitch anyway.

"Hopefully they can come in today with the enthusiasm to get themselves going again for another big game.

 

Warne on Tuesday morning meeting and whether they have felt the need to hit home the importance of the upcoming games…

"We didn't bang the drum as much as we normally do. We were able to have a meeting of sorts today. We have had a little bit of a meeting today and I think the lads know the importance really.

"We'll reiterate it again tomorrow.

"We've got to watch the results come in tonight which is never pleasant, but I think they're in a good place.

"I watched the game back against Birmingham and I thought we deserved to get something out of the game - unfortunately for us we didn't but it wasn't through a lack of effort."

 

Warne on shared desire of staff and players to remain a Sky Bet Championship outfit…

"We don't have any dressing room issues or anything like that. Everyone is determined to win. All of the loan players have been excellent in terms of their attitude.

"I think everyone has realised the efforts that we have put in this year and the difficulties that we have faced and none of us feel like we are a bottom three team but unfortunately that is currently what the league says, which is disappointing.

"We've got to live for the day, play as well as we can play and if it is meant to be, we pick up three we do and if we don't we have to go to the next game.

"We are running out of games, I'm not trying to belittle the task ahead."

 

Warne on whether Joe Mattock is likely to feature on Wednesday night…

"I think having Woody and Shauny Mac on the pitch for the Birmingham game helped.

"That bit of experience helps.

"The sooner we can include Joe Mattock back in the team is a good thing.

"Whether Wednesday will be too soon, I don't know. We've got to get through training today and have a look at a few options there, but I would like to include Joe in."

 

Warne on coming up against his old ‘Gaffer’ – Neil Warnock…

"In fairness, I've got a lot of time for the Gaffer [Neil Warnock], and Jeppo [Ronnie Jepson] and Blacky [Kevin Blackwell].

"Since they've left I've always kept in contact with them.

"It will be nice to play them and nice to see them. They're really good footballing people with loads of knowledge and I try and tap in when I can. They've been really supportive of what we're trying to do here.

"Come Wednesday night, both teams will be desperate for the points and it is on TV so there is always an added incentive for the players as well.”

 

Warne on whether he has utilised any of Neil Warnock’s management techniques from the ‘Great Escape’ season…

"When the Gaffer was here when we did stay up, we played like a 4-1-4-1 and we had Greg Halford in front of the back four. We were really hard to break down and it helped us to get wins.

"We're probably - rightly or wrongly - a little bit more aggressive and we're trying to take games to the opposition.

"Last time in the Championship, we drew too many games. I think we've won as many as the bottom six as everybody else but we have probably dropped a few points where we shouldn't have.

"We've definitely tried to instil the same defensive attitudes in our players. They defend set pieces resolutely, predominantly and work really hard for each other with is fundamental in all of Neil's teams and in mine.

"I think there are quite a few similarities but I do think it is still our team and we go the way we want to play. Hopefully we can take the game to a very good Middlesbrough team."


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