Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of the trip to face Millwall at The Den on Good Friday.
Over at Roundwood, the manager and the first team squad will have been encouraged by the sight of a few familiar faces on the grass, with Warne providing an update as his long term injury absentees near a return.
The Millers are back in action following two weeks out of league action as a result of the international break and the manager looked ahead to the Easter programme, as well as a hectic run of games in the run-in.
Also on the agenda were topics including the mood in the camp, as well as competition for places.
You can read highlights from the manager below, with clips from the interview available shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.
Warne on the fitness of Chieo Ogbene, Clark Robertson, Jamie Lindsay and Joe Mattock…
“Chieo has joined in a few days this week, Joe Mattock joins in next week, Robbo and Jamie Lindsay have been in all week and trained a little bit last week, so those two are probably the furthest ahead.
“It is great having them back, for many reasons. Because of covid protocols, the lads don’t even go in the building, the injured lads don’t get to see them, so they now get the social side back and feel a greater part of it all.
“The lads are obviously pleased to have them back and of course it adds competition for places.
“Joe Mattock should be back in full training next week, we’re trying to organise a game, there’s a few of the lads who could do with a run-out.
“It allows us to go into the last stage of the season in significant fettle. We’re going to have to make significant changes to the team and the way we play, we’ll definitely have to.”
Warne on competition for places…
“It's great to have competition, because we'll need everyone. For example, Freddie could score the winner on a Tuesday night, but might not be able to play on a Thursday. We just have to make decisions we think are right.
“We need to pick the freshest and best team we can for every game and we don’t know where our four or five wins are going to come from.”
Warne on the fixture schedule…
“Obviously we’ve looked at it because it’s on our wall. I wouldn’t say we’ve earmarked any games, I don’t believe any game is a six pointer, we just need to win as many as we can.
“We have to pick up something from our re-arranged games quite obviously. This time next week, we could out of the bottom three or in a worse position but we can’t get carried away.
“For us there’s still 36 points to play for and we have to get as many as we can.”
“This would have been right up my street as a player. I remember when I played, I always looked after myself, but the one season I can remember that I found difficult is when I was at Oldham.
“I was 32 I think and had played virtually every minute of every game. We didn’t have a big squad and at the end of the season, some of the older lads had just jaded a little bit.
“I appreciate some of my senior players have played a lot of minutes, we’ve tried to boost them when we can and come off them when we felt it was right.
“I’m hoping that they are fit as strong as I was and I think they are, so we’re going into it in good shape.”
Warne on the fitness of his squad…
“The injuries we’ve had have been quite freakish long ones, like broken bones and knee issues.
“The fitness from the lads comes down to a lot of things. The conditioning from Ross, the intensity of the sessions that we all put on, but also the fact we recruit athletes.
“You can bring in a non-athletic player to this environment, we might be able to improve them, but if you bring in a player who is already an athlete into this environment they can really flourish.
“Because of this we can the minutes out of the players that we do.”
Warne on the mood in the camp…
“They are all pretty happy, but to be fair they were on the Sunday when we came back in after a few days of not seeing each other.
“The world is also feeling a better place and the sun doesn’t half help, so it is good.”
Warne on the Easter programme…
“Millwall and Wycombe are both tough games. There are never ‘good’ games. For Barnsley when they played Sheffield Wednesday, an outsider would have thought that looked a good game for them.
“Football does not work like that, it never does.
“Every single game has it’s own questions and curve balls. Any game is winnable, so we don’t get too carried away with the opposition we just go into every game trying our best to win.
“We go into these games in really good fettle.”