Rotherham United manager Paul Warne spoke to local journalists ahead of Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby with Doncaster Rovers at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The manager gave an update on the fitness of winger Chiedozie Ogbene, who was substituted with a hamstring issue against the Owls last weekend.
Also discussed were topics including transfer speculation surrounding Michael Smith, as well as a look at Saturday’s opponents.
Warne on Chiedozie Ogbene’s injury…
“It is good news and not as severe as we first feared. We took him off against Sheffield Wednesday as a precaution.
“This weekend will come a little too soon for him, how quickly he will recover remains to be seen.
“We won’t rush him back, we’ve got good competition for places here, so there is no dramas.”
Warne on Curtis Tilt’s injury rehab…
“We had a training game on Tuesday and he played 60 minutes in that. Hopefully we’ll be able to play him in the Papa John’s Trophy game against Doncaster and that will be the last box for him to tick.”
Warne on other injury issues…
“I know Shane Ferguson took a knock to the foot, so he won’t be training today, but we’re hopeful he’ll be training tomorrow and be included in the squad.”
Warne on Michael Smith transfer speculation…
“There’s nothing at the moment. I’ve just seen him in the gym and it definitely wasn’t a cardboard cut out!
“Nothing has happened in terms of him or any other of my players.
“It would have to take an amazing offer to get Smudge out of the door."
Warne on his side’s progress in the league so far…
“I think our team is ace and I’ve really enjoyed watching us this year. I think against Wigan and Sheffield Wedensday we deserved something out of the games.
“We’ve had a difficult start but I think our performances have been good. It is a great group and I really enjoy working with them.
“The new lads have added a little more zest to the squad, which we were needing. I don’t think we’ve got much wrong.
“Obviously, the argument is what happens when we don’t play well, so we know we have to start turning chances into goals and wins.
“As the stats show, we’re creating the most chances and conceding the least. We just need to keep creating the chances and hopefully the goals will come.”
Warne on Richie Wellens…
“He was there as a player in some of their best years, so automatically he has an advantage because the fans will be right behind him.
“They will give him the opportunity and time to build a team that they like, hopefully.
“There is a style of play that he will bring in, as he has with every other club he has been at and I think it is what Donny fans will want to see.”
Warne on James Coppinger…
“He has always been a thorn in our side to be fair, so from a managerial point of view I’m glad he won’t be involved!
“In another sense it is quite sad, as I’ve always enjoyed watching him play, as a neutral obviously.
“I thought his career and conduct was phenomenal. I’ve only really got to know him in the last 12 months and I wish I’d got to know him as a friend and a bloke a little earlier in my career.
“He is testimony to the fact if you try every day to be the best version of yourself that you can play for years and years.”